Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mystery of Providence

Don Carson:  Leviticus 4; Psalms 1-2; Proverbs 19; Colossians 2

AT AN EARLY STAGE, I WORKED through Proverbs and categorized most of the individual proverbs according to topic. Some fitted into more than one topic. I recognized that there was a disadvantage in this approach: I would lose the thematic connections in some large blocks of material. Still, there was also a gain. I could see at a glance all that Proverbs had to say about poverty, for instance, or about the family, or about human speech.

One of the themes thus clarified is God’s sovereignty, worked out in sometimes mysterious providence. There is one verse on this topic in this chapter: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). By itself, of course, this might mean no more than that the Lord proves to be a superb chess player! Yet this verse is linked to an important set of passages (e.g., Prov. 20:24) that demand we think more deeply than that. For instance:

(1) “The LORD works out everything for his own ends—even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Prov. 16:4). We should not seek to evade the sweep of this utterance. This is not a dualist universe in which two autonomous principles operate, one good and one evil. While there is a basic distinction between good and evil, yet God’s sovereignty reigns, through whatever mysterious means, so that even the wicked serve his purposes—not least his purposes in judgment. Paul reflects on the same theme (Rom. 9:22).

(2) “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Prov. 16:9). Human beings are responsible for what they choose and what they do; the entire book of Proverbs maintains this perspective, for otherwise the fundamental chasms between wisdom and folly, good and evil, the fear of the Lord and haughty arrogance, could not be sustained. Yet at the same time, even with all the plotting in the world a mere human cannot escape the sweep of divine sovereignty. Elsewhere we are told, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Prov. 21:1).

(3) “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:33). This is a bit like saying that you can throw the dice as many times as you like, but which numbers come up is determined by the Almighty. This is why Christians have spoken of “the mystery of providence.” One cannot determine the moral excellence of an occurrence by the mere fact that it happens, since God’s providence rules over both good and evil, over every number that comes up. For moral distinctions, one needs God’s own pronouncements, his words, his law.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Run Up the Sunbeam

Steven Dilla at Park Forum:  Counterfeit Peace

Absent from the transcendent peace of God, our heart relentlessly manufactures a counterfeit through its pursuits of comfort and control. If we could just maintain stasis, command the events ahead, and assign meaning to those which have passed behind us—we convince ourselves—our hearts would find peace.
Economics help with such pursuits. Increased prosperity gives access to higher creature comforts, greater predictability, and less daily friction in general. And yet, the brummagem never holds up under the pressures of life.
Every generation of Americans since the 1930’s have reported increasing amounts of anxiety and depression. Because these daily struggles have increased during the same period economic prosperity has grown, some anthropologists have begun to view them as symptoms of something deeper.
“The Lord is at hand,” Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” It is important to make a distinction—the apostle isn’t talking about mental health conditions (although he may wrestle with something similar in another letter), rather he is addressing the daily anxieties common to all people.
Counterfeit peace is built on circumstance and dominance. Authentic peace rests in the giver of peace. This may be why we’re uninterested in it—the goal isn’t to return comfort and control to us as individuals, but to reorient our heart so that we pursue the giver rather than the gifts.
Ultimately finding our heart’s resting place in Christ results in greater peace not only for times of struggle, but for times of joy as well. In his sermon Peace—Overcoming Anxiety pastor Timothy Keller explains what happens when genuine peace defines our lives:
You can enjoy good food. You can enjoy a comfort. You can enjoy physical pleasures, but you know what they’re there for. They’re simply little samples. Like those sort of cruddy little things they stick out in the delicatessens and say, “Here, come and taste something.”
You taste them. They’re okay, but they’re stale. They’re not the very best thing you’re going to get, not the best dessert that comes out from the great restaurant. Even the best physical pleasures are just those kinds of dim hints. That’s the reason why our friend C.S. Lewis says a real Christian allows his mind to run up the sunbeam to the sun. He doesn’t sit and look at the sunbeam. He knows where it’s from.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Citizens of High Heaven

But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

Phil 3:20-21 [Message]

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Lord Is Risen Indeed!

John Piper post:  Can't Keep Jesus Down | Easter Sunday

Jesus was dead and buried, with a big stone rolled against the tomb, and the Pharisees came to Pilate to ask for permission to seal the stone and guard the tomb. Pilate responded, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can” (Matthew 27:65). So they did.
They gave it their best shot — in vain.
It was hopeless then, it is hopeless today, and it will always be hopeless. Try as they may, people can’t keep Jesus down. They can’t keep him buried. They may use physical force or academic scorn or media blackout or political harassment or religious caricature. For a season, they will think the tomb is finally sealed. But it never works. He breaks out.

No One Takes His Life

It’s not hard to figure out: He can break out because he wasn’t forced in. He lets himself be libeled and harassed and black-balled and scorned and shoved around and killed.
I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. (John 10:17–18)
No one can keep him down because no one ever knocked him down. He lay down when he was ready.
China may have been “closed” for forty years to Western missionaries, and it’s not because Jesus slipped and fell into the tomb. He stepped in. And when it was sealed over, he saved fifty million Chinese from inside — without Western missionaries. And when it was time, he pushed the stone away so we could see what he had done.

At Work in the Dark

When it looks like he is buried for good, Jesus is doing something awesome in the dark. “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how” (Mark 4:26–27).
The world thinks Jesus is done for — out of the way. They think his word is buried for good in the dust of irrelevant antiquity.
But Jesus is at work in the dark places: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). He let himself be buried — “no one takes my life from me” — and he will come out in power when and where he pleases — “I have authority to take it up again.” And his hands will be full of fruit made in the dark.
“God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). Jesus has his priesthood today “by the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16).
For twenty centuries, the world has given it their best shot — in vain. They can’t bury him. They can’t hold him in. They can’t silence him or limit him.
Jesus is alive and utterly free to go and come wherever he pleases. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). All things were made through him and for him, and he is absolutely supreme over all other powers (Colossians 1:16–17).
Trust him and go with him, no matter what. You cannot lose in the end.

Ten Gifts of the Resurrection

So, here on Resurrection Sunday, as an aid to Easter worship, celebrate with me these ten things we owe to the resurrection of Jesus. Each has an accompanying text.

1) A Savior who can never die again

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again. (Romans 6:9)

2) Repentance

“The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:30–31)

3) New birth

According to his great mercy, [God the Father] has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

4) Forgiveness of sin

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

5) The Holy Spirit

“This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.” (Acts 2:32–33)

6) No condemnation for the elect

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)

7) The Lord’s personal fellowship and protection

“Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

8) Proof of coming judgment

“[God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

9) Salvation from the future wrath of God

[We] wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10; also Romans 5:10)

10) Our own resurrection from the dead

[We know] that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. (2 Corinthians 4:14; also Romans 6:48:11;1 Corinthians 6:1415:20)
The Lord is risen indeed!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Resurrection Body

Excerpt from John Piper Interview with Don Carson:  A Biblical Theology of Resurrection 

Easter changes everything — we saw that yesterday. But one of the most fascinating things about Easter is that the theme of resurrection is not something that takes the New Testament by surprise. In fact, if you study the Old Testament carefully, you will see all sorts of allusions that all point to Christ’s eventual defeat of the grave on Easter Sunday, and here to explain those connections on the phone is Dr. Don Carson, who is kind enough to join us again.
He joins us by way of our partnership with our friends over at The Gospel Coalition. Dr. Carson is the co-founder and president of The Gospel Coalition, and he is the editor of the new NIV Zondervan Study Bible which focuses on biblical theological themes as they develop in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Dr. Carson, thanks for joining us again to talk biblical theology. As we move through various major themes in the biblical storyline, it’s fitting that today we talk about the resurrection as we celebrate Easter on Sunday. 


Another passage that is really quite important is 2 Corinthians 5:1–10 where Paul makes it very clear, it seems to me, that his ultimate hope is not simply to die and be with Christ. Paul’s ultimate hope is not to die and be with Christ, as wonderful as that would be. That is something he looks forward to in Philippians 1. But his ultimate hope is not to be, as he puts it in 2 Corinthians 5, unclothed, that is, without a body. His ultimate hope goes beyond what Christians have sometimes called the “intermediate state.” His ultimate hope is to be clothed again with a body, a resurrection body, a body like Christ’s glorious body, that will have the capacity to live and work and eat in this terrestrial, renewed earth, but also to be in the very presence of God. The ultimate hope of the Christian is not simply to be with Christ in some immaterial existence, but to have resurrection bodies in a renewed heaven and a renewed earth.
And all of that then ultimately issues in hope. There is a wonderful passage in 1 Peter:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of his salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while, you may have had to suffer grief and all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. For you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3–9)
In other words, we are receiving now already the salvation of our souls. But this all issues ultimately in a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead into an inheritance that, for us too, can never perish, spoil, or fade — the promise of a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness, with resurrection existence. So that, although there is in Scripture a resurrection to life — that is, a new heaven and a new earth, and a resurrection to death, to hell itself — yet for believers the confidence, the joy, the anticipation, the hope is tied absolutely to their confidence that Jesus rose from the dead after having offered himself to pay for their sins. And the cross and the resurrection tie together as the turning point of the ages on which all of history swings with the new age already dawning now and ready to be brought to consummation when the master himself returns in all of his glorified, resurrected existence on the last day.
That is a brilliant summary and a timely word for us, Dr. Carson, thank you and have a wonderful Easter weekend.
And a wonderful Easter to you, too. Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
Alleluia! Thank you Dr. Carson.

Lord of the Sabbath

Jon Bloom:  God Rested on the Seventh Day

Saturday, April 4, A.D. 33 began for the Jews at what we now consider six o’clock in the evening. It was the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, which God commanded in the law of Moses to be kept as a holy day of rest in memory of the day God rested from his creative cosmic work (Exodus 20:8).
And it was a high Sabbath, because it was the Passover, the high feast which God commanded in the law of Moses to be kept in memory of the night when the blood of an innocent lamb shielded God’s people from his angel of lethal judgment on Egypt (Exodus 12).
But no one yet understood that this Sabbath was far higher than any that had been kept since God’s ancient day of holy rest. And no one yet understood that this Passover was far holier than even the first Passover — that the Egyptian Passover was, in fact, foreshadowing this ultimate Passover.

God Finished His Work

By six o’clock, the Passover Lamb of God had been dead three hours, having been slaughtered on a cross-altar outside the city. Fresh traces of his sacrificial blood still marked moments of agony and horror in the governor’s palace, along the road, and on the ignominious hill called “The Skull.”
Late afternoon on Friday, the Lamb’s body had been courageously secured from Pilate by a member of the Sanhedrin, the very council that had secured from Pilate the Lamb’s execution. And in order to keep this highest of Sabbaths holy, the sympathetic Sanhedrin member, with the covert help of another member, had hastily placed the Lamb that was slain in criminal dishonor in a grave of aristocratic honor (Matthew 27:57–60;John 19:38–42). It was one more twist of providential irony. One more fulfillment of divine prophecy (Isaiah 53:9).
And now, on this highest of holy Sabbaths, beneath a linen shroud, on a cold stone slab behind a large cold stone, lay the body of the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). He had done the holy, horrible work that his Father had asked him to accomplish (John 5:17;12:27). The Holy One had become unholy so that in him the unholy ones could be made holy (2 Corinthians 5:21). And just as in ancient ages past, so again on the sixth day he had pronounced this part of his genesis work of new creation “finished” (John 19:30). And now, once again, “he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done” (Genesis 2:2).

A Rest Like None Other

That the mortal flesh of the immortal Word was undergoing the rest of rigor mortis on this Sabbath following his work of supreme sacrifice was no coincidence. Yet this was a rest like none other. His was the inscrutable rest that only the only wise God could have conceived (Romans 16:27): the holy, disgraceful rest of the sin-cursed death of the blessed, eternally sinless, immortal Son of God.
Who would have dreamed such a thing? “Who has known the mind of the Lord” (Romans 11:34)? The Son, at the direction of the Father, indeed always does all things well (John 5:19Mark 7:37).

Lord of the Sabbath

And even at this moment of perceived supreme weakness, of bodily death, the Life (John 14:6) remained the Lord of this Sabbath. Even in death, he provided refreshment to his followers and exposed his enemies.
During this holy Sabbath, he refreshed the faithful women who had followed him (Luke 23:55–56). They had kept vigil with him during the dark, tortuous hours of Calvary and had been the only ones brave enough to accompany Joseph and Nicodemus to the tomb (Matthew 27:61). They were planning to return at first light Sunday. They had borne profound grief. They would be the first to know Easter joy.
He also provided Sabbath convalescence for his sad, beleaguered disciples, locked away in fear and confusion (John 20:19). Back in the garden, Jesus had told them, “Sleep and take your rest later on” (Matthew 26:45). And now Jesus graciously gave them a “later on” day to rest before once again throttling them with the shock of resuscitated hope and joy and launching them into a life’s work that would forever change the world.
Ironically, but not surprisingly, this high and holy Sabbath did not find the chief priests and Pharisees resting. After determining that the Sabbath-healing Son of God must be killed (John 5:18), and having achieved their goal, these leaders were gathered at Pilate’s headquarters busily working on this Sabbath to secure a military guard at Jesus’s tomb (Matthew 27:62–66). The work of healing on the Sabbath was anathema, but apparently not the work of collaborating with pagans to keep the Lord of the Sabbath in his grave.
Would their homicidal anger only rage higher at Jesus if they knew that, even as he rested beneath the Roman seal they secured, he was working the greatest healing ever conceived? How despondent did they become when they discovered the next day that all their Sabbath work had not prolonged his death-rest?
For as this holy Sabbath ended, and the soldiers stood guard, and disciples sat in anxious uncertainty, and the women lovingly readied their spices for the dawn, the body of the slain Lamb stirred. The Lord of the Sabbath was about to be revealed as the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25). And not all the Roman legions in the world could have kept that tomb sealed.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Phillip Holmes post:  Live to Give - At Any Cost (Maundy Thursday)

The maundy in Maundy Thursday means “commandment,” from the Latin mandatum. The commandment in view is Jesus’s famous words in John 13:34–35:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
In this passage, we find a command, an illustration, and a promise. Jesus answers our what, how, and why. He tells his disciples to “love one another” as “I have loved you” so that “all people will know that you are my disciples.”
Here in his final hours, Jesus provides his disciples, and future Christians, with the key to being distinct from the rest the world as followers of the Son of God.

The Command

The first part of the command is simple: Love one another. Jesus is preparing the men whom he’d loved dearly for the last three years for the trials and suffering ahead.
They were about to be commissioned to do a work that would change the world forever, and have eternal implications on the souls of every human being for generations to come. Jesus knew Satan had plans to hinder the mission. Jesus’s remedy, at least in part, is the modest commandment to love one another.
Though it may be simple and memorable, anyone that has tried it recognizes that its challenge. Love requires selflessness and sacrifice. Love demands that we put others before ourselves and give up time, resources, and even our own lives for the sake of others’ good. Love is neither what we’re inclined to do or think about doing, apart from grace. Jesus recognized the disciple’s propensity towards self-love and the challenge to love others, so not only did he leave them with a command, he left them with an illustration.

The Illustration

Jesus doesn’t provide a simple way out or leave the disciples with an easy excuse. Not only does he tell them to “love one another,” but he sets a standard that can only be illustrated by him and accomplished through divine intervention. He tells them to love each other “as I have loved you.” Anyone that has paused and pondered the life of Jesus in the most basic way quickly recognizes the weight of this command.
The illustration doesn’t conflict with Paul’s reading of the law in Galatians 5:14: “The whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Rather, it complements Paul’s words. According to John Piper, Jesus is, in essence, saying,
Here is what I mean by “as yourself.” Watch me. I mean, just as you would want someone to set you free from certain death, so you should set them free from certain death. That is how I am now loving you. My suffering and death is what I mean by “as yourself.” You want life. Live to give others life. At any cost.
Jesus now puts a living image with Paul’s, and the Old Testament’s, standard of “as yourself.” We are so prone to overlook the many ways in which we love ourselves. We easily justify why we need not do certain things for others that we do for ourselves.
But Jesus’s life provides us with a model that can’t be mistaken, an illustration that can’t be ignored. Jesus’s entire life embodied the meaning of “as yourself” — which is why he could say, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

The Promise

The promise is an honor — to be a known disciple and follower of Jesus, who is the God-man. There is no other name that we should feel as privileged to be associated with as that of Jesus. But many want to be associated with his name without making his sacrifice to love.
Jesus tells his disciples that if they love one another as he has loved them, “all people will know that you are my disciples.” In order to show our allegiance to Jesus, we may attempt just about anything other than loving one another. We put up signs in our yards, post quotes on social media, and add bumper stickers to our car. All these may express a genuine heart, but they mean nothing if we do not love other Christians — who can, in fact, be some of the most difficult people for us to love.
The way we treat and care for one another speaks volumes about the gospel we proclaim. The apostle John echoes the words of Jesus recorded in his epistle:
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:20–21)
It is impossible to truly love God without love for the body of Christ. We should seek to love our brothers and sisters as we would love members of our own family. Because, in the final tally, we really are family, the truest family.
When the world makes broad, sweeping statements about the evil in the church, it should give us pause. Instead of joining in on the world’s terms, we should be ready to highlight the good, even as we honestly acknowledge the bad . Love means a willingness to selflessly sacrifice our own reputation for the sake of the body, as Christ did on the cross. Love means taking the risk of being called evil for doing good.
Our Christ-like love toward each other communicates to outsiders that we really believe the gospel we proclaim — and provides a limited, but powerful, illustration of the love that can be theirs in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is the perfect illustration of love, and Holy Week provides an excellent opportunity to witness the exhibition of his love and seek to walk humbly in his steps.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

For I Am Yours and You Are Mine

An Opportunity

David Mathis post:  Make the Most of Holy Week

In one sense, there’s nothing special about “Holy Week.” Just another sequence of eight days each spring — nothing is intrinsically holy about this Sunday to Sunday that moves around the calendar each year.
We have no mandate from Jesus or his apostles to mark these days for particular observance. Paul, for one, would be quite happy for us to partake, or not. “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).
Clearly, the celebration should not be pressed upon the conscience of others. “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath” (Colossians 2:16).

Opportunity, Not Obligation

Celebrating Holy Week is not an obligation, but it is an opportunity. It is a chance to walk with the church, throughout time and throughout the world, as she walks with her Bridegroom through the most important week in the history of the world. It is a chance to focus our minds on, and seek to intensify our affections for, the most important and timeless of realities.
While not mandating the observance, or even suggesting it, the New Testament does give us indirect reason, if we’re looking for it. The final eight of Matthew’s 28 chapters are given to this one week, along with the last six of Mark’s sixteen and the final six of Luke’s 24.
“Celebrating Holy Week is not an obligation, but it is an opportunity.”
Most significant, though, is John. Ten of the Gospel’s 21 chapters — essentially half — deal with the final week of our Lord’s life, his betrayal, his trials, his crucifixion, and his triumphant resurrection. Even Acts, which then narrates the life of the early church, returns to the events of Holy Week with frequency (see, for instance,Acts 1:15–192:22–363:11–264:8–1224–28, among others).
Indeed, it could even be said that all the Old Testament anticipates this week, and the rest of the New Testament reflects it in theology and practical living.

Seize the Week

Without any arm-twisting or conscience-pressing, I would encourage you to consider how you might make the most of this week. These are some of the darkest and brightest days in the history of the world, and they are rich with soul-sustaining food and life-clarifying vision.
In the chaos of our increasingly fast-paced and hectic society, Holy Week is a reminder to pause and ponder, to carefully mark each day and not let this greatest of all weeks fly by us like every other.
Perhaps pick a time each day — alone or with family or housemates — to slow down and savor what was happening during the Passion week some two thousands years ago. Consider reading through a Holy Week devotional — or even better, one (or a couple) of the Passion narratives from the Gospels:
  • Matthew 21–28
  • Mark 11–16
  • Luke 19–24
  • John 12–21
Block out several minutes. Find a comfortable place to sit. Seek to quiet your soul, and pray that God would meet you in the events and significance of this week. And spend a few moments in prayer after you read and turn the truth Godward in adoration of Christ. Receive this week with thanksgiving, and make it holy by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:5).
You may want to make it memorable with candles or some other special flair. If your church, or another in town, does a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service, that presents another opportunity.

A Prayer for Passion Week

If you’d like a specific biblical text to serve as a prayer charter for this week, here’s what I’m asking for myself and my family: that God would make the prayer ofEphesians 3:16–19 increasingly true of us this Holy Week —
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
“Jesus’s step-by-step journey to Golgotha is a glowing revelation of the extent of his love.”
Jesus’s step-by-step journey to Golgotha is a glowing revelation of the extent of his love. He loved us “to the uttermost” (John 13:1) in going all the way to the cross for us, with every bruise, every puncture, and throb and stab of pain. And it is during Holy Week that we see most profoundly how deep the Father’s love for us. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
May God make this to be for you a week of being newly grounded in the love of Christ, so plainly on display from the resolve of Palm Sunday, to the ultimate sacrifice of Good Friday, to the triumph of Easter Sunday. And may you freshly know the love of Christ, in all its breadth and length and height and depth — and wonder upon wonder, be filled with all the fullness of God.