1801.) Ten Thoughts about Easter

March 28, 2016

Easter. alleluia

Christ Is Risen!  Alleluia!

“Think on these things.”

TTR grave cloths

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

~Timothy Keller

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Easter. I am the res

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?”

~John 11:25-26

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"The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulcher on the Morning of the Resurrection" by Eugène Burnand, c.1898.

“The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulcher on the Morning of the Resurrection” by Eugène Burnand, c.1898.

“For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.”

~Brennan Manning

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"Women at the Tomb" by He Qi.

“Women at the Tomb” by He Qi.

“Life [had] replaced logic.”

~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

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"Guards at the tomb of Christ" drawing by J. R. Howley, 2011.

“Guards at the tomb of Christ” drawing by J. R. Howley, 2011.

“Perhaps [the critics are right and] the drama is played out now and Jesus is safely dead and buried. Perhaps. It is ironical and entertaining to consider that at least once in the world’s history those words might have been said with complete conviction, and that was on the eve of the Resurrection.”

~Dorothy L. Sayers

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"Christ on the Cross" by Sir Anthony van Dyke, 1627.

“Christ on the Cross” by Sir Anthony van Dyke, 1627.

“The Bible says he was raised not just after the blood-shedding, but by it. This means that what the death of Christ accomplished was so full and so perfect that the resurrection was the reward and vindication of Christ’s achievement in death.”

~John Piper

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TTR Easter-cross-daybreak

There are times when I feel that he has withdrawn from me, and I have often given him cause, but Easter is always the answer to My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!

~Madeleine L’Engle

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TTR empty tomb

Today is the day of salvation for the world… Christ is risen from the dead: arise with him. Christ returns to himself: you also must return to him. Christ has come forth from the tomb: free yourselves from the fetters of evil. The gates of hell are open and the power of death is destroyed. The old Adam is superseded, the new perfected. In Christ a new creation is coming to birth: renew yourselves.

~Gregory Nazianzen

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TTR two-spring-leaves

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.  
~Martin Luther

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TTR joy

“Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin:
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Invisible and visible,
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen
Our joy that hath no end.”
~John of Damascus

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Music:

“Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, performed  HERE  by the Royal Choral Society.  You are cordially invited to sing along!

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Images courtesy of:
Alleluia!    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/alleluia.gif
empty grave clothes.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/emptytomb.jpg
I am the resurrection.    https://everythingforhisglory.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/whiterosejohn11.jpg?w=625
Burnand.    http://www.artbible.info/images/grafspoed_grt.jpg
He Qi.    http://auroratrinitylutheran.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/womenatthetomb.jpg
Howley.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/guards.jpg
van Dyke.    http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/13/1347/UGCS000Z/posters/sir-anthony-van-dyck-christ-on-the-cross-1627.jpg
cross at sunrise.   https://illinoisaxiom.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/eastercross.jpg
empty tomb.    http://media.photobucket.com/user/clchco/media/emptytomb1.jpg.html?filters[term]=stone rolled away&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=1
spring leaves.    http://wallpaperstock.net/two-spring-leaves_wallpapers_11823_1024x768_1.html
JOY.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/ttr-joy.jpg?w=450
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1800.) Good Friday from the prophet Isaiah

March 25, 2016
"The Beautiful Mess" painting by Daniel Bonnell (Woodland Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN)

“The Beautiful Mess” painting by Daniel Bonnell (Woodland Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN)

Isaiah 53 (NLT)

Friday

The sky peels back to purple
and thunder slaps the thighs of heaven,
and all the tears of those who grieve
fly up to clouds and are released
and drench the earth.
The ones who see and hear
know
that all is lost.
The only One named Savior
died
upon a cross.
The ones who believed and loved
huddle together
stunned.
All night long
the angels weep.

–Ann Weems

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Music:

Samuel Barber wrote “Adagio for Strings” in 1938 as part of a work for string quartet;  he then transcribed it for voices in 1947 as a setting for the “Agnus Dei.”  Performed  HERE  by The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

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1 Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

"Christ on the Cross" oil on canvas by El Greco, 1577.

“Christ on the Cross” oil on canvas by El Greco, 1577.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
–Isaac Watts

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
and love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
and shut its glories in,
When Christ, the Mighty maker, died
for his own creatures’ sins.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear Cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt mine eyes to tears.

But tears of grief can ne’er repay
the debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away–
‘tis all that I can do.

6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

Romans 5:12-15 (NLT)

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.  Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break.  Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.

Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come.  But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.

"The Entombment" oil on wood by Raphael, 1507 (Gallerai Borghese, Rome)

“The Entombment” oil on wood by Raphael, 1507 (Gallerai Borghese, Rome)

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.

John 10:14-18 (NLT)

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

“Fix your mind on the mercy of God,
His love for us,
and all that He suffered for our sake.”

–Teresa of Avila

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Images courtesy of:
Bonnell.    http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/the-beautiful-mess-daniel-bonnell.jpg
El Greco.    http://www.artnet.com/magazine_pre2000/news/tully/tully209.asp
crown of thorns.    http://eardstapa.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/crown-of-thorns.jpg
1 + 3 = 4.   http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z5yfMgiXL._SL500_SS500_.jpg
Raphael.    http://www.abcgallery.com/R/raphael/raphael26.html
Good Shepherd icon.    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj152/toulasmom/GoodShepherd.jpg
heart.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/heartlou.jpg