A good praise song for Easter or Palm Sunday services.
Why did Jesus come to Earth before the invention of photography and video? Couldn’t He have reached more people if everyone could see Him? After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
“No,” says Ravi Zacharias, who asserts that a word can be worth “a thousand pictures.” As evidence, he quotes poet Richard Crashaw’s magnificent line, “The conscious water saw its Master and blushed.” In one simple line, Crashaw captures the essence of Jesus’ first miracle (John 2:1-11). Creation itself recognizes Jesus as the Creator. No mere carpenter could turn water to wine.
Another time, when Christ calmed a storm with the words, “Quiet! Be still,” His stunned disciples asked, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:39, 41). Later, Jesus told the Pharisees that if the crowd did not praise Him, “the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). Even the rocks know who He is.
John tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory” (John 1:14). Out of that eyewitness experience John also wrote, “We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. . . . He is the Word of life” (1 John 1:1 nlt). Like John, we can use our words to introduce others to Jesus whom wind and water obey.
Jesus, we acknowledge You as the Creator who knows and loves His creation. Yet You wait for us to invite You into every aspect of our lives. Forgive us for those times we keep You at a safe distance. Today we choose to risk knowing You more completely.
The written Word reveals the Living Word.
“Hosanna to the Son of David,” the people called out as Jesus rode by on a donkey. “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9). They scampered in their worship, making a road of coats and tree branches before Him.
It was the day we know as Palm Sunday. But for the Jews packed in Jerusalem, the Sunday before the feast of Passover was the day each family would choose their lamb to sacrifice for the annual time of remembrance. Years before, when His people were still in Egypt’s shackles, God warned that death was on its way and no one—neither the righteous nor the wicked—would be spared. But the Lord provided a way, a covering. All who took shelter under the spilt blood of a perfect lamb would live.
“Sin costs blood,” God was communicating. And every spring, His people remembered.
After that first Passover, the Lord also taught His people how lifeblood would provide provisional covering for their sin. “The life of the flesh is in the blood,” He told them. “And I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls” (Lev. 17:11). God showed His people how to offer daily and annual sacrifices for their sin. “This will cover you for a little while,” He was explaining.
So for years and years God’s people kept bringing sacrifices. “Save us, please,” was the prayer as blood spilled from every offering. But the blood of bulls and lambs can’t purify a sin-stained heart (Heb. 10:4). The people of God were covered, but they weren’t clean.
And then came that day. In their hearts, the people were choosing an earthly king. The yoke of Rome was heavy, and they wanted freedom. “Hosanna [Save us, please!] to the Son of David,” they called out as Jesus rode by on a donkey. “Hosanna!” But God had a freedom of a much more beautiful kind on His heart. His people thought they were choosing their king, but God was choosing their Lamb.
“Save us, please!” they cried. And the answer was the same then as today: Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
by Laurin Greco
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” (Matthew 10:29)
This fascinating bit of first-century pricing information, seemingly so trivial, provides a marvelous glimpse into the heart of the Creator. Of all the birds used for food by the people of those days, sparrows were the cheapest on the market, costing only a farthing for a pair of them. In fact, they cost even less in a larger quantity, for on another occasion Jesus said: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12:6). The “farthing” was a tiny copper coin of very small value, so a sparrow was all but worthless in human terms.
And yet the Lord Jesus said that God knows and cares about every single sparrow! God had a reason for everything He created; each kind of animal has its own unique design for its own intended purpose. Modern biologists continue to waste time and talent developing imaginary tales about how all these multitudes of different kinds of creatures might have evolved from some common ancestor. Even some evolutionists have started calling these whimsical tales “just so” stories. They would really be better scientists if they would seek to understand the creative purpose of each creature rather than speculating on its imaginary evolution.
The better we comprehend the amazing complexity and purposive design of each creature, the better we realize the infinite wisdom and power of their Creator. Then, all the more wonderful it is to learn that their Creator is our Father! He has placed them all under our dominion, and we need to learn to see them through His eyes if we would be good stewards of the world He has committed to us. We can also thank our heavenly Father that we “are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31). HMM
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. —John 14:23
The doctrine of the Trinity is truth for the heart. The spirit of man alone can enter through the veil and penetrate into that Holy of Holies. “Let me seek Thee in longing,” pleaded Anselm, “let me long for Thee in seeking; let me find Thee in love, and love Thee in finding.”
Christ did not hesitate to use the plural form when speaking of Himself along with the Father and the Spirit. “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Yet again He said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). It is most important that we think of God as Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance. Only so may we think rightly of God and in a manner worthy of Him and of our own souls….
The authors of the Athanasian Creed spelled out with great care the relation of the three Persons to each other, filling in the gaps in human thought as far as they were able while staying within the bounds of the inspirited Word. “In this Trinity,” runs the Creed, “nothing is before or after, nothing is greater or less: but all three Persons co-eternal, together and equal.”
With my mind I struggle, Lord, but with my heart I rest. I am awed by Your Trinity in unity, and I long to know You not through reason but through love and faith. Amen.
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. (Titus 1:2)
It is sad indeed to know that there are Christian leaders among us who are too timid to tell the people all the truth. They are now asking men and women to give to God only that which costs them nothing!
The contemporary moral climate does not favor a faith as tough and fibrous as that taught by our Lord and His apostles.
Christ calls men to carry His cross; we call them to have fun in His name! He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords!
He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers!
When will believers learn that to love righteousness it is necessary to hate sin? That to accept Christ it is necessary to reject self? That a friend of the world is an enemy of God? Let us not be shocked by the suggestion that there are disadvantages to the life in Christ!
Christ is the same; Christ’s person never changes. Should he come on earth to visit us again, as sure he will, we should find him the same Jesus; as loving, as approachable, as generous, as kind, and though arrayed in nobler garments than he wore when first he visited earth, though no more the Man of Sorrows and grief’s acquaintance, yet he would be the same person, unchanged by all his glories, his triumphs, and his joys. We bless Christ that amid his heavenly splendors his person is just the same, and his nature unaffected. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”