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Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

Blessed Lord Jesus,

Before thy cross I kneel and see

the heinousness of my sin,

my iniquity that caused thee to be ‘made a curse’,

the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by

the crown of thorns,

the pierced hands and feet,

the bruised body,

the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,

its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.

Infinite must be the evil and guilt

that demands such a price.

Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,

born in my birth,

alive in my life,

strong in my character, dominating my faculties,

following me as a shadow,

intermingling with my every thought,

my chain that holds me captive in the empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,

the air supply breath,

the earth bear my tread,

its fruit nourish me,

its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,

thy heart hastens to my rescue,

thy love endured my curse,

thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths of humiliation,

bathed in thy blood,

tender of conscience,

triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation

Taken from The Valley of Vision, a Collection of Puritan Prayers

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Picture by CCC

Of course you know Jesus.  That’s what the day is about—Good Friday.  He died on the cross for our sins.  So grateful.

But there was the other Jesus—Jesus Barabbas.  The criminal.  The one they let go.

Imagine Jesus Barabbas back in his prison cell, listening to the crowd chanting Jesus, Jesus!  Followed shortly by Crucify him!  Crucify him.  Surely his end was near.  Then imagine his amazement and joy when he was released.

Here’s an amazing thing:  His Jewish name would really be Jesus Bar Abba.  Which means Jesus, Son of Father.

Of course, in reality that was really the name of the other Jesus—the one we love and worship.  Officially his name would have been Jesus Bar Joseph.  But we know Jesus wasn’t the son of Joseph—he was the Son of God—or Jesus Bar Abba.

So the names are the same, but the fathers are different.

Jesus Barabbas was the son of his father the devil.

And Jesus Bar Abba was the son of his father, God.

Jesus Barabbas, the guilty one, was set free.

Jesus, the pure, holy, innocent one, was crucified.  For you, for me, for Jesus Barabbas.

We can hope that Jesus Barabbas recognized the gift he was given, and received the one who paid for that gift.

We, of course, have the same father as Jesus Barabbas, that is the devil, until we receive that incredible gift of the price Jesus (the Christ) paid.  And then we are adopted into the family of God Himself.  He becomes our Father.

Do you marvel at such a transaction?  That you get a new father and a new freedom.

Don’t ever get over it!

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This is another in a series of letters to members of the Prayer for Prodigals community.

 

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

 

Lent began today.  For some of you it has spiritual and family significance.  For others it has little meaning now or in the past.

 

The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, being tested and tempted and surviving without food and water.  It was His time of preparation for the ministry that would begin when he returned.

 

We do something similar during Lent:  Most of us choose a discipline—giving up something we enjoy or doing something we don’t particularly enjoy.  This denying of self helps to strengthen and prepare us for the depth of pain in the crucifixion on Good Friday and the ecstasy of joy in the resurrection on Easter morning.

 

It seems that this might be a good time for us—those of us who love prodigals—to take some time to refocus.  For most of us our lives—or at least our emotions–revolve around our wanderer and the pain he brings us and our hopes for a different future.

 

Good Friday and Easter are about that exactly—great pain and great hope.  Though we don’t when our loved one will come to her senses and return to the fold, we all believe it will happen.  But perhaps part of the progress, the desired transformation, is waiting on work God is doing in us.

 

So perhaps we should turn our eyes from the rebel in our midst and shine a light on our own hearts/attitudes/sins.  We can ask God to reveal where He wants to work in us:  actions and attitudes to change, sin to confess and abandon, new ways to demonstrate love, pursuing God as our first love.

 

The following links will take you to prayers in the Prayer for Prodigals community that might be perfect Lenten meditations:

 

Know the Father’s Heart

 

Hindrances to Answered Prayer

 

Forgiveness for the Family

 

Declaration of Release

 

May God do a beautiful work in each of us that will reflect Him and woo our very loved prodigals.

 

In a few weeks I will begin our preparations for the June 2 Worldwiide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.  I know it will be a special time together, as it always is.

 

Grace and peace to you,

 

Judy

 

If you would like to visit the links in this letter, you will need to be a member of this wonderful praying community–Prayer for Prodigals.  You can write to prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom for an invitation to the community.

 

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