Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two Voices in Caiaphas' Courtroom

I'm being aided in my personal Holy Week reflections by Frederick S. Leahy's little book, The Cross He Bore: Meditations on the Suffering of the Redeemer. In numerous places in the margins, I'm finding myself scribbling the words, "great insight." My eyes are being opened to the redemptive significance of the plot/trial leading up to the crucifixion.

Here is one such instance.Concerning the high priest's garment-tearing response to Jesus' confirmation that He is in fact the Son of God (Mt 26:63-65), Leahy writes,

Ultimately two voices have spoken in that courtroom, the voice of God and the voice of Satan: both said, 'One for all.' But there is fundamental disagreement between them. God speaks in terms of redemptive substitution, substitutionary atonement; Caiaphas, who is Satan's tool as much as Judas, speaks in terms of elimination. God would have his Son die for his people so that they might live; Caiaphas would have Christ die in order to be rid of him, and so he sticks by his policy (John 11:49-50) that one man should die for the people rather than that the whole nation should perish.

Thus predestination and human responsibility meet as Christ is condemned. He was 'delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,' yet 'crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men' (Acts 2:23). God's eternal purpose was realized in the death of His Son.

Jesus as Lamb and Lion

Exulting in Diverse Excellencies - a worship-inducing reflection on the Person of Christ from Kevin DeYoung. Here's how it starts:

Secularists and liberals might take him if he were a Lamb. Muslims might love him if he were a Lion. But neither side will worship Jesus Christ as both.
Read the rest.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Luther: He Rides No Stallion

Thankful to Chris Brauns for pointing out this quote from Martin Luther. I used it in my sermon today.  
This is Luther's comment on the Palm Sunday passage in Matthew 21:5 - "Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’"
He is presented as sheer grace, humility, and goodness, and whoever believes that of him is blessed.  Look at him!  He rides no stallion, which is a war animal, and he comes not with fearful pomp and power, but sits on a donkey, which is no war animal but which is ready for burdens of work that will help human beings.  Thereby he shows that he does not come to terrify people, to drive or oppress them, but to help them, to carry their burdens and take them on himself.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Men's Breakfast

I just returned from our men's breakfast. It was good to chat with some men around the table. Part of my table conversation was with a Filipino brother talking about the spiritual situation in his country. That led to another conversation on church history, which ultimately led to conversation on the consummation of redemptive history.  All the while, I was thinking about how good it was for men converse about things other than the all-to-typical fare of news, sports, and (in this neck of the woods), soil conditions.

After breakfast, I showed an interview with C.J. Mahaney on the topic of biblical manhood. I've seen this interview a couple of times, but one thing C.J said stood out at me this morning. Paraphrasing, he said that instead of viewing home as a refuge for our relaxation, us men need to view at as a context in which to serve our wives and children.

Ouch! I was convicted. I know too often I come home just wanting to be served and to put my feet up after a hard day. But this is not a good example of male headship. Male headship is played out in service. And as men, the arena in which our service should be played out is, first and foremost, the home. Servanthood is an expression of Christ-like headship without abdicating leadership, authority and responsibility.

Here is the entire 40+ minute interview

Q&A on Biblical Masculinity from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adoption Reflections

I'm always on the lookout for adoption stories - stories of Christians who have understood how the reality of God's adoption of us as orphans into His spiritual family, ought to inform our care for orphans. I was able to draw out that application in my sermon on Sunday from Ephesians 1, and now I've decided that whenever I hear or read of such a story, I'm going to post it here.

Here the first one:

Adopted in Christ from Grace EV Free on Vimeo.

HT: Challies