Today’s Reading: Luke 23:44-46 NIV
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 for the sun had stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Revelation 5:12-13 NIV
In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!”
It was dark in the sanctuary. The altar had been stripped of everything that adorned it – the communion elements were gone. The meal had been served; our Lord had been taken away. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to live in a world without Christ’s love to guide us. For a moment, I felt so lost. Then I remembered the words from a familiar passage of Scripture, and my heart began to sing, “Worthy is the lamb who was slain… to Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!” The dark night of the soul no longer seemed so ominous. I knew sins chains had been broken once and for all. The light is returning; there is victory in Jesus; there is hope for a lost world!
Worship is a powerful thing. It touches our intellect and emotion; worship helps us recognize our total unworthiness and the amazing gift of grace that we have received. The Easter Sunday celebration that is coming is chalked full of praise and beauty and celebratory music! There will be dancing and laughter, and wonderful preaching! Pastors get pumped on Easter, and for good reason. This is the reason we celebrate – Christ’s death and resurrection is the final and sufficient means for all people to experience salvation! Bells will peal from church steeples. Parade goers will fill the streets of Jerusalem, heading toward the empty tomb. Even with all the upcoming revelry, I find myself drawn deeper to the somber remembrance of Christ’s suffering. His anguish should have been mine. Christ willingly gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for my sins. His cross should have been my cross; His shame was mine. Jesus willingly did this so that I might experience a right relationship with The Father. I deserved His punishment; yet Jesus chose to save my life! Who could not help but rejoice in the greatest gift ever! When we receive Jesus into our hearts, we receive His promise of new life, for today, and all our tomorrows. Even in the looming darkness of this hour, I knew the morning Son would come again. And it is for this reason, I hold onto His promise. It can be yours today for the asking. Are you ready to make an eternal commitment to Jesus Christ?
Today, we remember the Lamb that was slain. May Christ’s blood cover you in grace, as you kneel at the foot of the cross. Pray this prayer with me, “Father, I do not deserve to come into your presence, but your Son, the Lamb of God, has made a way for me. For I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came to take away the sins of the world; my sins, forever and ever! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me! I will praise and serve you with everything I am; this is my eternal commitment. Amen.”
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2010, Deb Spaulding
All rights reserved
Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles.