Six decades have come and gone on the calendar of my life. Yet, this morning I experienced a first Easter that truly moved my heart in a powerful way. Frankly, I went to church expecting good music and warm fellowship with other believers. I came away different than when I came and that’s how it should be on any given Sunday. Sometimes that does happen, but seldom on Easter. We go expecting more of the same as the year before and the years before that.
One of the songs that left words vibrating in my heart harbored the phrase, “they came to crucify a man, but they sacrificed a Lamb.” A simple, but profound truth. The song happened to be the title song of the program, “Behold the Lamb.” Even more moving to my heart were the words from the song, “Without His Cross” were the words: “without His tears, there is no comfort.”
Those words led me to reflect on the tears of Jesus over Jerusalem, and then also the tears in the Garden of Gethsemane. During the thirty-three years that Jesus walked this earth He undoubtedly shed tears no one saw. That would not be unlike my own tears, that sometimes spill unto the countertop as I cook, or into the dishwater as I wash dishes and all the time praying for someone dear. It also reminds me that Jesus knows how I feel when my heart is broken to the point of tears because He shed tears too. He is my comfort in those times when otherwise my heart would just break in grief.
The Holy Spirit brought to my heart the wonderful challenge of Philippians 3:10 “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering; being made conformable unto His death.” My memory floated back to my college days and hearing that verse set to song for a lovely teacher on campus. Mrs. Kettering could sing those words like no other. That chorus is embedded in my heart.
The crowning touch came in the final minutes, maybe no more than eight minutes, when my pastor gave closing remarks. He quoted Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The day may come in our own United States where the refusal to deny Christ may bring death. Standing for Biblical truth sometimes costs a Christian his business. Certainly denying Christ is a temptation in our world of regulations and restrictions on free speech if it comes from a serious Christian.
Upon leaving church this morning, I made it plain to my crucified and then risen Savior that I am on His side. I will not deny Him. He did not deny me. I am His; He is mine.
Credits: the music for “Behold the Lamb” is published by Lorenz Publishing Company, 2010, The program is a compilation made by Mike and Christina Gradwell but is not published. It was compiled by a hometown girl who grew up at Victory Baptist Church, Whiteland, IN. Families like hers are what make serious Christianity thrive. If you wish for more information on the script and music compilations, please comment below. I will get back to you on it.