VIDEO Despised for All of This – Handel’s Messiah

Despised for All of This

Despised for All of This

He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12

Susannah Cibber gained fame in the eighteenth century for her talent as a singer. However, she was equally well known for her scandalous marital problems. That’s why when Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin in April 1742, many in the audience did not approve of her role as a featured soloist.

During that inaugural performance, Cibber sang of the Messiah: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3 kjv). Those words so moved Rev. Patrick Delany that he jumped to his feet and said, “Woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven thee!”

He is risen! Matthew 28:6

The connection between Susannah Cibber and the theme of Handel’s Messiah is evident. The “man of sorrows”—Jesus the Messiah—was “despised and rejected” because of sin. The prophet Isaiah said, “My righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities” (v. 11).

The connection between Messiah and us is no less apparent. Whether we stand with the judgmental audience members, with Susannah Cibber, or somewhere in between, we all need to repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Jesus, by His life, death, and resurrection, restored our relationship with God our Father.

For this—for all Jesus did—be all our sins forgiven.

Father in heaven, we all stand in need of Your forgiveness. We stand too in awe of Your Son Jesus, who was despised and rejected for our sins. Thank You for coming to us in Jesus 2,000 years ago so that we might know You now.

Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Revelation 19:6 kjv

By Tim Gustafson


Handel – Messiah – by London Philharmonic (Complete Concerto/Full

Mar 1, 2014

Messiah, composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Easter, Better Called Resurrection Day, Does Not Originate With Pagens

He is risen_Easter

Cynics like to claim that Christians at Easter unknowingly celebrate a pagan spring fertility rite that the church co-opted for its own purposes.

This is nonsense. Easter is directly related to the Jewish week of Passover. Jesus Himself was the sacrificial paschal lamb, crucified for the sins of the whole world before His resurrection on the third day. His rising and the empty tomb are the ultimate celebration of new life not just here on earth but for all of eternity.

The earliest Christian leaders, including Polycarp, (A.D. 69-155), argued over when to observe Resurrection Day, but they agreed on its significance, and this was cemented at the church-unifying Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.

The cynics are on stronger ground when they point to pagan terms for spring festivals that sound a lot like Easter, and there is the matter of the Easter Bunny.

As Time magazine noted in 2015, “one theory is that the symbol of the rabbit stems from pagan tradition, specifically the festival of Eostre — a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny. Rabbits, known for their energetic breeding, have traditionally symbolized fertility.”

The Easter bunny arrived in America in the 1700s, with German immigrants to Pennsylvania telling their children stories about an egg-laying hare, according to They also brought with them their winter custom of erecting Tannenbaums indoors. Christians originally adorned the treetops with a baby Jesus, and later with stars or angels.

Before secularists celebrate their supposed capture of these two paramount Christian holidays, both of which are awash in irreligious mass marketing, they might consider that the reverse is happening. No matter how much they try to obscure the origins of Easter or the real meaning of Christmas, Christianity keeps seeping back into the conversation.

Churches burst to the seams on Easter and Christmas with people who long for more than the thin gruel of a secular holiday. That’s because eternity and God’s law are written on every human heart, as the Apostle Paul notes in the first chapter of the book of Romans.

It’s why, despite a dangerously rising paganism that devalues life, Christian themes still dominate our culture’s idea of justice and mercy, and why even Hollywood has to incorporate them.

A recent example is “Wonder,” the luminous Julia Roberts/Owen Wilson movie about a boy with a surgically restored face who endures bullying with such grace that he lifts everyone around him toward nobility. Christian elements abound, including a friend’s rejection of the boy out of fear of peer pressure and his subsequent redemption.

It’s a powerful reminder of the Apostle Peter’s declaration of loyalty, his lying under inquiry after Jesus is led away, and his repentance and restoration. Whenever we see someone redeemed, like the characters in “Wonder,” we experience the beauty of forgiveness and unmerited mercy.

Modern echoes abound of Jesus‘ timeless story of the Prodigal Son, who ditches his family, blows his inheritance on decadence, and slinks back to his father, who embraces him without reservation.

The parable was immortalized by Rembrandt, who painted “The Return of the Prodigal Son” as his last masterpiece before his death in 1669. As a one-time prodigal, Rembrandt portrayed all the elements of Jesus‘ powerful story, including the disdainful elder son who is appalled by his father’s welcome of his rebellious brother.

Anyone can understand the relief and surprise of the younger son when, instead of coldly rejecting him, the father embraces him. Others can identify with the older son, who never got such treatment even though he was faithful. Most of us can relate to either son at varying times.

The point of the story is that God’s love is so all-encompassing that we need not fear approaching Him, regardless of what we’ve done. He loves both of his children without measure and wants what’s best for them. All it takes is a repentant heart and the wondrous realization that we are loved beyond human comprehension.

At Easter, or better yet, Resurrection Day, it’s good to know that it’s not what we can do but what He did for us. It’s something to think about while we munch on leftover chocolate bunnies.


First published at The Washington Times

Why Should We Love God?

Mark 12:28-34

Most of us are familiar with what is commonly called the Great Commandment—to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yet none of us feel adequate for such a task. Our hearts are fickle, our souls are often self-absorbed, our minds are easily distracted, and our strength falls short. We have an earthly existence that demands our time, attention, and energy. As a result, we often fail to focus on the One who is worthy of our wholehearted devotion.

So, what can we do to better obey this Great Commandment? In any relationship, love develops as we learn to know and appreciate the other person. Therefore, our starting place for loving God is His personhood—knowing who He is. The Old Testament provides magnificent views of His nature, power, and love, but the most tangible, understandable picture we have of God is His Son. When we examine Jesus’ character, words, and actions in the Gospel accounts, we perceive the heavenly Father more clearly.

The second reason to love God is because of what He has done. He’s not only our Creator but also our Savior. Through Jesus, the Father has rescued all believers from eternal destruction. We’ve been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His Son and made heirs with Christ (Col. 1:12-13).

What distracts you from seeking to know and love the Lord? Have you carved time out of your busy schedule to read His Word and talk to Him in prayer? By doing this, you’ll discover that the saying “to know him is to love him,” will prove true of your amazing God and His Son Jesus Christ.

You Can Have Life and Immortality

“But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10)

Most of us have read or heard the passage in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 that directly challenges death and hell with the fact of the resurrected Christ and the promise of our own resurrection when He returns. There is no “sting” left in death and there is no law that overrides our salvation because our Lord Jesus has gained the victory.

Long ago, the great man Job faced his detractors with the confidence that “in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26). The prophet Hosea, in the middle of difficult life demands and during a time of awful apostasy, heard the Lord promise those who were faithful, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction” (Hosea 13:14).

The good news of the implementation of God’s eternal plan brought “life and immortality to light.” All during the millennia of the Old Testament, fulfillment of God’s actions were hinted at, through the sacrifices of the altar, and promised oftentimes in the utterances of the prophets. But when the Messiah became incarnate, “we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14).

The apostle John, whose gospel and letters consummate in the great Revelation disclosure, could say, “The life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us” (1 John 1:2). He who is life (John 11:25) promised, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). HMM III

Ye must be born again

John 3:1-21

John 3:2

Perhaps he came by night because he was busy all the day, or because he would make private inquiries before he committed himself to the new teacher. Jesus did not refuse him a midnight audience, and Nicodemus came to him in courteous and candid spirit.

John 3:3

Thus he tried the faith which the inquiring ruler already had. The doctrine of regeneration has been a test question and a stone of stumbling to many; and always will be so. Jesus tried Nicodemus at the outset with this vital question, for he never suppresses truth to win followers.

John 3:4-6

Flesh at its best can only produce flesh; and since we must become spiritual in order to enter the spiritual kingdom of Jesus, it is inevitable that we must be born again, or else remain strangers to the things of God. Every man must be born twice or die twice: let this never be forgotten.

John 3:7, 8

The regenerate man is a mystery, and whence his new nature came, and whither it tends, are both spiritual questions which the carnal mind is unable to answer.

John 3:10-12

earthly things or things belonging to this world

John 3:10-12

The higher truths are not opened up to those who are staggered by the simpler doctrines. It would be idle to attempt it.

John 3:13-13

It is remarkable that the same chapter which so strongly teaches us the need of the new birth is that which most clearly sets forth the gospel of faith in Christ Jesus. Both truths are to be cordially believed. We must be born again, and yet whosoever believeth in Jesus is not condemned.

John 3:18

Let this be well marked. All this family who have not believed are already condemned.

John 3:19-21

With such simple teaching before us, it will be terrible if any one of us should live and die in unbelief. It becomes us at once to believe in Jesus, for ere long we shall be gone where gospel promises are no longer presented as a ground of hope. Lord, we believe, and by grace we are saved.


Do You Have Hope or Despair?

A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. (John 3:27)

John the Baptist gave his questioners a brief sentence that I have called the “hope and the despair” of mankind. He told them that “a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”

John was not referring to men’s gifts. He was speaking of spiritual truth. Divine truth is of the nature of the Holy Spirit, and for that reason it can be received only by spiritual revelation.

In his New Testament letters, the Apostle Paul declares again and again the inability of human reason to discover or comprehend divine truth. In that inability we see human despair.

John the Baptist said, “… except it be given him from heaven”—and this is our hope! These words do certainly mean that there is such a thing as a gift of knowing, a gift that comes from heaven. Jesus promised His disciples that the Holy Spirit of truth would come and teach them all things.

Jesus also prayed: “I thank thee, O Father, because thou hast hid these things from the wise, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Luke 10:21).


God’s Hornets

“And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.” Exod. 23:28

What the hornets were we need not consider. They were God’s own army, which He sent before His people to sting their enemies, and render Israel’s conquest easy. Our God by His own chosen means will fight for His people, and gall their foes, before they come into the actual battle. Often He confounds the adversaries of truth by methods in which reformers themselves have no hand. The air is full of mysterious influences which harass Israel’s foes. We read in the Apocalypse that “the earth helped the woman.

Let us never fear. The stars in their courses fight against the enemies of our souls. Oftentimes when we march to the conflict we find no host to contend with. “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” God’s hornets can do more than our weapons. We could never dream of the victory being won by such means as Jehovah will use. We must obey our marching orders and go forth to the conquest of the nations for Jesus, and we shall find that the Lord has gone before us, and prepared the way; so that in the end we shall joyfully confess, “His own right hand, and his holy arm, have gotten him the victory.”


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