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Tag Archives: Cross

Broken to Heal: a Good Friday message

Here is the complete text from my Good Friday message given yesterday at Eastbrook Church. You can view the message here.Chosen Words Series Gfx_Web Ad

The Apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest companions, begins his telling of Jesus’ life with profound words. John describes Jesus as the ‘Word of God’ – that perfect wisdom and revelation of God – who “was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1, 2). He says Jesus was “the true light” shining “in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome” that light (1:5, 9). John even goes so far as to say that Jesus surpasses Moses in His authority as a teacher because Jesus is “the One and Only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father” (1:17, 18). These rich words show us how highly John thought about Jesus and exactly who we are dealing with when we come to the Gospels: Jesus’ timelessness, Jesus’ authority, Jesus’ wisdom, and Jesus’ divinity.

If we had never encountered the story of Jesus, it may strike us as odd when we read the following words from John nestled amidst those earlier descriptions:

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory.” (1:14)

The lofty One comes into our midst in human flesh, John says, and that is a revelation of His glory. Certainly, it could be a slight surprise to hear this. The glorious Word – unstained and pure – steps into rough and tumble human experience – right where we live.

Yet that slight surprise is nothing compared to what we encounter later in John’s story: that Jesus would suffer the brutality of violent execution by human hands. This is exactly what we have heard from another early Jesus follower, Matthew, in his record of Jesus’ life read throughout the service today. It is a litany of broken human experience: Jesus’ isolated and suffering alone in prayer while His disciples fall asleep; Jesus’ betrayed by one of His own followers named Judas; Jesus arrested by Temple guards without clear accusation; Jesus facing authorities who bend justice to match their own aims, even as they stand as representatives of God; Jesus’ utter rejection by a close friend, Simon Peter; Jesus’ life exchanged for the freedom of a known murderer, Barabbas, at the request of the crowds; Jesus humiliatingly mocked as a broken king by the Roman soldiers, complete with a robe, a staff, and a crown of thorns; the voices of cynics shouting insults as Jesus is heaved up on a cross to slowly die of asphyxiation or heart failure. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in Communication, Evangelism

 

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Resurrection Hope

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Beginning this weekend with our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, we begin a new series at Eastbrook entitled “Resurrection Hope.” Over the next five weeks we will explore the questions: “why is the resurrection so important to Christianity?” and “what does it mean for us today?” The series will be rooted in 1 Corinthians 15.

April 19/20 – “Resurrection Grace” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

April 26/27 – “Resurrection Matters” (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)

May 3/4 – “Resurrection Timing” (1 Corinthians 15:20-34)

May 10/11 – Resurrection Bodies” (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)

May 17/18 – “Resurrection Victory” (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Eastbrook

 

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||40days|| week seven: Jesus Died

Jesus walked into Jerusalem hailed as a king. Within a few days, the crowd was calling for His execution: “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!” (John 19:15).

A thorny crown fiercely adorned His kingly head (19:2). Purple robes signaled His royalty as soldiers spit on Him, slapped Him and mocked Him (19:3). But the only throne given to this King was a rough and brutal wooden cross (19:18). They raised Him up on it for all the world to see. A sign saying “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” displayed His identity in mocking irony (19:19).

Weak and pitiful, naked and bloody, thirsty and Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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||40days|| week one: a journey like Jesus

Can you imagine 40 days of fasting and prayer in the wilderness? That was Jesus’ journey as recorded  in the Gospels. As it says in Mark 1:12-13: “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” Matthew and Luke tell us of the encounter Jesus had with the evil one himself during this trying time (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).

This ||40days|| journey leads us into the desert like Jesus, where we will struggle with the raw temptations and trials that the evil one puts before us. We face the cravings of the world that the Apostle John described as “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16, NIV).

Watch this video below, Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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||40days|| week one: a journey like Israel

When Israel rebelled against God on the verge of Canaan, the land of promise, God sent them on a 40 year journey in the wilderness. You can read about that journey in Numbers 13 and 14.

It was a journey of punishment for sin. It was a journey of purification from rebellion. It was a journey of repentance and returning to the Lord. For 40 years the people had opportunity to reflect on their wrongs. I have to believe that does something to a person. I have to believe that shapes a community.

What does it look like for us to go on our own journey of repentance and return to the Lord? What purification do we need? What work must God do in us to restore us to true life?

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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||40days|| week one: a journey

Today we begin a journey. A forty day journey to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is a journey that mirrors the forty days when rain fell on the earth to purge it from sin and injustice, while Noah and his family were saved in the ark (Genesis 7:12).

It is a journey that recalls us to the forty years when the people of Israel wandered in the desert because of their disobedience and distrust of God (Deuteronomy 29:5).

It is a journey that returns us to the forty days when Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested and tried by the evil one in preparation for His ministry (Mark 1:13).

In this ||40days|| journey, we are preparing ourselves for the joys of Easter by having a deeper experience of the Cross. Like Noah, it is a time of rescue from sin. Like Israel, it is a time of purification from wrongs. Like Jesus, it is a time to come back to the word of God and resist the evil one.

Traditionally, this journey is called Lent, and begins today on Ash Wednesday. Traditional Lenten disciplines are fasting, prayer, and giving. Thus, we can see the movement from abstaining from something (fasting), turning to God (prayer), and putting another discipline in its place (giving). That being said, there are all sorts of ways that we can enter into this journey to the Cross of Christ.

Will you take the ||40days|| journey?

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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Voices at the Cross: A Good Friday Message

My message from this past Good Friday, “Voices at the Cross,” has now been posted online so that you can listen to it here.

When Jesus began His journey to the Cross, He was surrounded by voices.

There were the fickle voices of the crowd.

There were the betraying and denying voices of the disciples.

There were the accusing voices of the chief priests.

There were the self-willed voices of Pontius Pilate and King Herod.

There were the mocking voices of the those watching the crucifixion.

There was the stinging voice of the Evil One.

But there was a deeper and stronger voice.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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