Tag Archives: worship

The Triumph of the Lamb

Can you imagine the day without the Lamb? As followers of Christ today, with the constant presence of the Holy Spirit to make clear the meanings behind difficult things as well as to comfort us, it is difficult to imagine the shock and confusion of the disciples. On the one hand it seems so strange that they would be unable to understand all of Jesus’ prior teaching about His up coming death and resurrection, but on the other hand we as humans are very foolish and it should come as no surprise that the disciples would be too.

Here they had been from Friday night until Sunday morning, weeping and deeply distressed by what had happened. The one they believed was Son of God and messiah had perished on a cross and died. I think we have lost hold of the depth of this scandal. How strange indeed that the Son of God would allow Himself to be beaten and killed. He had the full authority to put a sudden end to His oppressors, and yet He chose for the glory of God and our redemption to stay anyway.

Then suddenly Sunday morning, the disciples heard a strange report. Jesus was alive again. This was wholly unexpected. What could it mean?

We who celebrate the Lord’s resurrection every year at this time are prone to forget the depth of its implications. First of all, it serves as full verification of Jesus’ claims about His identity and power. Had Jesus not risen from the dead, our Faith would be useless and also likely non-existent. The idea ought to startle us, that a man should rise up from the grave and walk away by His own power. Certainly such an event has powerful implications.

Jesus is Lord. There should be no question in our mind that God the Father has vested the full authority of the God head in the person of the Son. The authority to overcome the grave and return to God on high reflects the fullness the Son’s power and might

Jesus has won total victory over the power of sin and death. The resurrection represents the total crushing of sin and death through the death of the righteous Son. In this moment the power of sin to trap and hold the followers of Christ was lost. Its only power now is in deception, convincing us that we are entangled when we are in fact not.

This victory serves to demand holiness from us. If Jesus has crushed sin and death once, for all time; then those who are filled with His Holy Spirit are free from entangling sin. We are called, and enabled to walk in holiness. To do less is to deliberately trample the cross underfoot and make it of no effect.

The final implication is that Jesus is that Jesus has become worthy of His own chosen reward, the worship of the redeemed from every tribe, tongue, and nation. I will address that topic separately in my next post.

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The Suffering of the Lamb

What was on Jesus’ heart and mind as He suffered and died on the cross?

We have heard over and over again that it was His love for us, but I would suggest that answer is somewhat incomplete.

We’ve embraced a dangerous tendency as a church to wrap everything around ourselves, even much of our “worship” focuses more on ourselves and how we feel than it does on the character and nature of God. This me-centric theology is just an outshoot of our very self centered culture into our churches, it represents an area where the culture has been allowed to transform the gospel we teach, rather than the other way around. The consequences of this dangerous reversal are being felt throughout American society today.

When Jesus died on the cross, He was lovingly thinking of you; but His primary motivation was love for and the greater glory of His Father. We take a dangerous step if we believe that Christ’s care and concern for us exceeded His care and concern for His Father and His Father’s glory.

God recognized that redeeming sinful humanity, who deserved no such redemption being rebels all, would bring Him far greater glory than wiping evil from the face of the earth. He earnestly desires the worship of redeemed men and women from every tribe, tongue, and nation for Himself. For this reason, Christ Jesus our Lord temporarily put aside the glory that was rightfully His and embraced instead the cross.

He suffered and died the way that we ought to have, to redeem us for His worship. No other motivation could be more pure, nor could it be better and more loving for us. Let us reject the notion that all the actions of the Sovereign and Glorious Lord of creation revolve around us, and instead recognize His plan to redeem us for His own glory!

To get a more full understanding of the concept of God’s desire to glorify Himself and redeem the nations read Unveiled at Last, by Bob Sjogren.