The kiss meant to betray honored
The arrest meant to end began
The words meant to charge freed
The stripes meant to wound healed
The crown meant to mock heralded
The cries meant to doom lifted
The cross meant to burden unleashed
The sign meant to accuse declared
The nails meant to torture identified
The sword meant to pierce solidified
The stone meant to secure revealed
The cloth meant to cover displayed
The tomb meant to hide announced
The death meant to squelch ignited
I read John 19 this morning, Good Friday. Here are two interesting verses to contrast:
15 They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?”
19 Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
So many questions. Did the chief priests really mean what they said? Did they really view Caesar as their king? If so, what did they say to the people around them when they spoke about their God, their loyalty to him? Seems contradictory. Feels familiar in 2021 America.
Of course, one could understand from Jesus’ teachings that the chief priests didn’t really get it. When Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, his language and teaching may have even gone over their heads, too. They either didn’t understand it or they rejected it. Either is tragic for them and the people they led. Seems that what we continue to witness happen in religious circles when leaders focus their eyes on the wrong king isn’t anything new.
As a follower of Jesus, to declare allegiance to any created being over their Creator declares citizenship in an earthly kingdom. Some scholars teach that Pilate’s note on his sign wasn’t so much a personal declaration as a statement of charge-that Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews. Interesting that, regardless of his intent, Pilate-the non-Jew, the one not looking for a Messiah, the one who was simply trying to do justice for the accused man-declared the truth.
May we all on this Good Friday declare that Jesus is King.
The main reason they stuck is the contrast between the doubting of love and the exchanging of grace. Been on my mind for several weeks now, so these lyrics heard through the lens of Easter stopped me in my morning routine.
That’s what grace does. Makes you pause. Humbles your expectations. Erases your doubts. Brings you back.
May we all pause in humility to be brought back from our wandering through the erasing of our doubts of God’s love this Easter!
Easter Sunday morning, I led a set of worship songs through Facebook Live on our church’s Facebook page. Here is a link to it on youtube.
Occasionally someone will say to me, “How about you pray for me? Your connection is better than mine.”
We both understand the thought, but reality is it ain’t true. Just because one person may practice praying more than another doesn’t mean their connection is better. For a really clear illustration of that, check out Jesus’ teaching in Luke 18:9-14. Frequency of praying doesn’t assume better.
Does that mean we shouldn’t bother praying regularly? SMH. It means we should take advantage of the access God graciously gives everyone. My connection ain’t better than yours. No ones is. Well, except Jesus. Why? Because of Jesus’ resurrection. That’s right. One of the many impacts of his resurrection for all people is direct access to his Father through him. His sacrifice gave everyone equal access. His job right now is to sit by his Father to intercede on your behalf.
So if you’re tempted to believe the lie that you don’t have equal access and maybe give yourself an out for praying, why not tell Jesus, “How about you pray for me? Your connection is better than mine.”
On Christmas day 2018, my album producer Dave Bechtel posted this video of our work on this song. You can now view it on my YouTube channel.
This song is one of ten originals on my soon-to-be released album “In the Shadows.”
Question: if the video weren’t shot at Christmas and you only heard the lyrics, would you think Easter or Christmas?
If you leave your answer, I will reply with my original inspiration for writing “No Other King.”
Thank you for leading us in the Lord’s Supper last night. One of the most precious times I’ve ever experienced it. I think there is something wrong in our hearts if we don’t get emotional every time we take it.
This text came to me this morning from a choir member in reference to our time together before last night’s Good Friday service.
Yesterday was a day of solitude and remembrance at my house. Mostly reading, listening to Easter songs, and resting. The day prepared me for the night.
One of the songs on my Easter playlist is “O The Blood,” by Kari Jobe. It’s what we listened to in remembrance last night. You can follow this link to remember and to prepare your heart for tomorrow.
O The Blood [feat. Kari Jobe] by Gateway Worship on Amazon Music
This will come as great news for my fellow employees and friends…the cheesecake drought is over!
Note to the single people: When you’re the only living creature in your dwelling place, you can lick anything you want however you want.
The Oven is Now Open! Happy Easter to me and to those blessed with any leftovers!