Friday, April 09, 2004

U.S.: A Good Friday thought

Blessed Good Friday/Passover to all.

This is the day of the shed blood placed on the lintel of the homes of the children of Israel, so that the angel of death would pass over and not slay the first born of the Israelites, along with those of the Egyptians. Beloved, we who are called by the name of the Son have been grafted into the tree that is Israel, through faith in Christ Jesus. In Him, the promise that is of faith, received by Abraham, is given to all of us who believe. So then, we who are of faith, the same are the children of and blessed with faithful Abraham. For, YHWH God has justified us through faith. It is as the hymn writer declared:

There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall.
There the dear Lord was crucified;
He died to save us all.
For those of us who are Christian, Christ Jesus Himself is the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the earth. It is His blood, in which we are washed in the water and Word of baptism, that redeems so that the sentence of death is not passed upon those of us who believe in Him. That is the particularity and discrimination of the Cross.
We may not known, we cannot tell
What pain He had to bear.
But we believe it was for us,
He hung and suffered there.
What the blood of lambs and rams could not do in that it was insufficient, Christ Jesus -- through the shedding of His holy and precious blood in His innocent suffering and death -- has done for us once and for all in the Crucifixion. Thereafter, we have no more need of any blood sacrifice; for, in Him, we who believe are redeemed and reconciled with our Father YHWH God, and at peace with Him. Because of the Crucifixion that we celebrate today, we have peace with YHWH and can stand before His face, confident that He sees not us, in our sinful state, but Christ Jesus, who has given us of His righteousness and clothed us in it. So, with the hymn writer, we can sing:
He died that we might be forgiven.
He died to make us good.
That we might go at last to heaven,
Saved by His precious blood.
Therefore, let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad that YHWH condescended to come down to us that He might lift us up to Him. The crucifixion of YHWH enfleshed in the Son is the final step of His movement towards us. The lifting up of the Cross commences His lifting up of us to Him, which lifting is accomplished in His resurrection.
There was no other good enough,
To pay the price of sin.
He only could unlock the gate,
Of heaven, and let us in.
Thanks be to YHWH Elohim for His loving kindness and tender mercies towards us, and who has given His only begotten Son for us. For, surely, we do not deserve either His love or the sacrfice of the Son. Nevertheless, because of His khesed -- His mercy, loving kindness -- YHWH gave of Himself for us. Therefore, we can cry Abba, Father, and stand before Him as children knowing He will hear and answer our prayer. For,
Dearly, dearly, hath He loved,
And we must love Him too.
And trust in His redeeming blood,
And all His works to do.
In faith, we celebrate His and our Resurrection in the now, and we await our second resurrection in the not yet.

Xairete. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each of us. Amen.

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