Monday, April 02, 2007

He Did It For Me (And For You)

EDITORIAL NOTE: "IT'S FRIDAY, BUT SUNDAY'S A-COMIN' " I heard this sermon preached by Tony Campolo - he heard it at a great black church. That thought came to my mind again as I walked across campus to my office, once more wearing my winter coat, hidden under an umbrella to protect from the sleet that is falling from a very gloomy sky. It is Good Friday, and we commemorate Jesus' death on the cross. I am glad it's gloomy today, because it makes me think more of how sad this day was in history. But I look forward to Sunday when we celebrate !! HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Easter Sunday is now only six days away. I have been watching the sky every morning as I walk from my car to my office. The eastern sky has become lighter each day. I anticipate the sunrise, but it is still hiding until after I get into my windowless office. For many years we have had a sunrise service outside in a park. We went to a park very close to my house for a long time and I would walk there in the chilly morning. Often the moon would be setting over the mountains to the west as the sun began to lighten the east. Eventually too many houses were built for us to be able to see the sun until it had appeared above the roof lines. We moved to a park across town which hadn't been invaded by housing developments yet. It is a thrill to me every year to leave for the park in the very early hour of Easter morning and watch the sun peak over the horizon as we sing of Christ's resurrection. It's cold, it's early, we have to rush back to change for breakfast at the church and early service. But it is so worth it to me for the chill I get in my body that has nothing to do with the frigid temperatures. He did this for me! He did it for you.

His whole life was about us. He spent 30 years with his disciples, preparing them for when He would leave. Sometimes they understood, sometimes they didn't. He must have been frustrated at times, in His humanity.

This thought has really been imprinted on my soul as I have been reviewing our cantata on my way to work each morning. One of the narrative parts says, "The truth of the Resurrection is central to our faith. The apostle Paul wrote , 'if Christ has not been raised our preaching is useless and so is your faith,' (I Thes. 15:19). But when we believe with our hearts that God has raised Jesus from the dead, and when we know the truth that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, then His resurrection power begins transforming and empowering our lives. Jesus spoke to our generation when He said, 'Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.' "(John 20:29b).

That's us! He's talking about you and me. We, who have not seen, and yet believe. He also talked about us in John 17:20, as He was praying for His disciples, and He knew His time on earth was short. He prayed for their protection from the evil one. He also said, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message . . ." He's praying for ME and YOU. That gives me the chills, or God-bumps, as Diane would say.

Parts of this song (by the Gaithers) have been running through my mind this morning:


I quote Max Lucado often. I will do it again as I wrap this up today. It is actually tomorrow's devotional in the book I read each day called Grace For the Moment. This is an excerpt from Max's book, And the Angels Were Silent.
"Then Jesus went about a stone's throw away from them. He kneeled down and prayed." (Luke 22:41)

"The final prayer of Jesus was about you. His final pain was for you. His final passion was for you. Before He went to the cross, Jesus went to the garden. And when he spoke with His Father, you were in his prayers . . .
And God couldn't turn His back on you. He couldn't because He saw you, and one look at you was all it took to convince Him. Right there in the middle of a world which isn't fair. He saw you cast into a river of life you didn't request. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body which gets sick and a heart which grows weak . . .
On the eve of the cross, Jesus made His decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you."

And if that doesn't humble you and thrill you and bring tears to your eyes, you need to check your pulse to see if you're alive!

Have a blessed Holy Week!
Jesus praying


Praying for your Prodigal said...

Oh Dawn,

The prayer found in John 17 touches my heart everytime I read it! It is my one of my favorites! To think that Jesus was thinking of astounding. What a great post for Holy Week. You bless me!


Tammy said...

This was incredibly written, Dawn...I don't even have proper words.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts and quotes...I want to mediate on these things more in this Easter week...and not take it for granted!

Barb said...

What a beautiful post to start this week with, Dawn. Year after year, I find myself feeling sad all through this week because I know what He was going through. This lifted me up. Thank you for that.

And I love that song.

Kristen said...

Beautiful post, Mom. I wish I could muster up the ability to go to the sunrise service, but mornings.....just probably not going to happen for a few more years.

Maine Mom said...

What a beautiful post...makes me think (which is why you have the thinker award :-)

Yellow Mama said...

Everything God did was out of love for us. Everything our Savior did was out of love...and His name shall be called wonderful, counselor (we need one), the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace. Looks like He has covered every area of need for us. I rejoice with you!

Kathleen Marie said...

What a wonderful post. Christ can do all things...

I want to thank you so much for your prayers. I know God can work miracles. I am praying for your son-in-law. My daughter is getting so frustrated with Cody. He has been offered jobs and doesn't take them, and is just baffled.

Yes, let us agree together for the salvation for these young people!

Thank you and God Bless!

WOnderful post by the way, just awesome!

Lala's world said...

great post! I have never been to a sunrise service but I would love too! just to put things into perspective once again, like your post does!

FlipFlop Mom said...

AWESOME AWESOME BLOG!!!! thank you for sharing your heart!!!!

Susie said...

Beautiful post Dawn.
One of my fondest childhood memories is sunrise services with all our family together. I can still hear my Grandma's beautiful voice singing..
Our town doesn't do them anymore

MugwumpMom said...

Wow! That says it all. Wonderful post. Happy and Blessed Holy Week to you too!

PEA said...

How I wish I could just once experience a sunrise service on Easter morning...that sounds like it would be such a wonderful way to celebrate the resurection of Christ!! We do tend to have to be reminded at times what HE did for us...beautifully said dear Dawn! xox

cajunquilter said...

What a great blog! I have added you to my must read list.

I also love the Gaithers!

groovyoldlady said...

Beautiful Dawn...

Beautiful, isn't He?
Isn't He beautiful?
Prince of peace,
Mighty God
Isn't He...

Wonderful, isn't He?
Isn't He wonderful?
Prince of peace,
Mighty God
Isn't He, Isn't He, Isn't He?!

Jungle Mom said...

Beautiful. A lot for us to be thinking on in thses days.

Nancy said...

AWESOME! Thank you so much for blessing me today... Good Friday. Your words ran chills through me as I read it. God is Good!

Linds said...

Beautiful, Dawn. I wish you could have heard the singing at Spring Harvest, and if you ever get the chance to go and see Kristyn and Keith Getty (their tour dates are on their website) go and just listen to their words. In fact, you can read them on the website too. The Power of the Cross, is awe inspiring. I have gained so much from the 6 days at SH, and this Easter is even more significant.
I will be in a plane watching the sun rise from above the clouds on Easter morning. That will be really special.

Linds said...

And I will not confess to just how many Lucado books I acquired. I have just finished the Applause of Heaven. Stunning.

SiouxSue said...

It has been a very blessed Holy Week and a blessed Lent. I love the Good Friday quote. I read someone's blog where a son had come from church wanting to know why it was called Good Friday...he wasn't good for Jesus. The mother explained yes, but it is good for us. Our Maundy Thursday service was beautiful, and the Altar of Repose was so peaceful. I was amazed when it was time to go so soon.

Bless you, my friend, this Eastertide.

Linda said...

You have done such a beautiful job of summing up what this holiest of days means to each of us Dawn. The love He showed for us is just fathomless.
Praying your Cantata goes beautifully. We did our first service last night. It was glorious. Our church was full (3500 people and 500 in an overflow room) and Jesus was there. I feel so blessed to have just a little part in it all. We do it again tonight and then twice on sunday (I think we are only going to do the early service). It's such a blessing.
Have a wonderful, blessed Easter my special friend.