Birmingham. Good Friday.
And the Shofar blew.
David Platt brought it on Friday night. During Secret Church, he preached on the message of the Cross, we shared in communion, and we heard from a pastor in the Gaza Strip. Amazing stuff. 2000 people spending their Good Friday night by hearing what the holiday is all about. There were 100 pages of notes, I won't post all of them. I filled in the blanks and then had a notebook with my own thoughts written down. This is them:
First - I wanted to know what I was bringing into the evening - where was I starting. As I drove and was stuck in 280 traffic, I had time to think: I WANT: to be thin and tall, to be attractive, to be loved by a Christian man...but...to not be like the Israelited who wanted a king so bad. These are honestly my heart's cravings tonight. But, I also want to see a glimpse of you in a fresh new way that all of these pale in comparison.
1. Because of the cross...Jesus commands my destiny. Because he conquered death and the grave, He can fulfill all my dreams in Him.
2. If your life isn't saturated by the cross - it will be wasted.
3. "The whole world in comparison with the cross of Christ is one grand impertinance." - Robert Leighton
4. We must have a God-centered view of the Cross. The Cross is not about me.
5. Since God is righteous - God is all RIGHT in all that He does. I have no reason or right or smarts to argue with a righteous God - because everything He does is right. Even the cross (it pleased the Father to bruise the Son)
6. The song I heard last year at New Attitude: All I Have Is Christ - by the NA band. Good stuff. Had it on my Easter playlist - go download it. Good stuff (again).
7. I think this is what hit me the most: the tension between Romans 2.4 and Prov 17.15 - how God is perfectly just in His wrath - yet ordained the Cross to set us free by the blood of the innocent. What a great mystery - tension everywhere. Something I will never fully understand - that is why there is faith and the Spirit.
8. Most Christian/gospel songs about the cross say something like - it was for us, I was on his mind, He was thinking of me, etc. John 12.28 says His main purpose in the hour of the Cross was to glorify the Father.
9. Sympathetic Resonance - the idea of a Great High Priest. Amazing how the Maker of the Universe and only sinless human being is my Great High Priest who knows and understands and sympathizes with everything I am going through.
10. Jesus' agony about the cross wasn't primarily about the pain of the thorns, heaviness of the cross, etc. It was knowing fully the wrath of God.
11. Knowing the wrath of God - studying it - knowing what it means for Him to be my substitute - makes the cross more real.
12. Jesus experienced the full wrath of God - when it was dark and he asked why His Father had deserted Him.
13. Christ endured the wrath of God because He was being obedient. "for the joy set before him, Christ endured the cross" - gotta love Hebrews.
14. We are saved from our sins b/c the Father and the Son were in complete unison. He took the cup full of the wrath of God.
15. "All (salvation) is of God. The only thing of my very own which I contribute to my redemption is the sin from which I need to be redeemed." - William Temple
16. God is omnipresent. even in hell. But the presence is the cursing of God. God is just not allowing His blessing to be there. I had to think through this one a bit.
17. Hosea 2. 13-14. Amazing book, love it, love the story. Don't think I ever saw the "therefore". Because of the fact that Israel was rebellious, Gomer was a prostitute, I am an idolater - God will pursue me. Praise God He is the pursuer I need - the only one.
Amazing night. Brain was full. I didn't stay for the last session, but they are eventually online, so I can fill in the blanks! The last session was on the intent of the Cross (L in Tulip) - limited atonement. Who is the cross for?