Calvary

John 19:15 – 27

 New International Version 

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareththe king of the Jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”Image result for Calvary

22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”[a]

So this is what the soldiers did.

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine
A wondrous beauty I see
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away
Where His glory forever I’ll share

No Turning Back

Image result for following jesus

Matthew 16:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

A simple message this morning in this beautiful song written by General John Gowans I’ll not turn back

Following Jesus

Mathew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me

A few months ago in our devotional period after Songster practice I based my thoughts on the song “I’ll follow Thee”

Bandmaster Richard Philips who plays the piano for The International Staff Songsters has a CD out with the original tune of ‘I’ll Follow Thee,

1.
I heard a voice so gently calling:See the source image
Take up thy cross and follow me.
A tempest on my heart was falling,
A living cross this was to be;
I struggled sore, I struggled vainly,
No other light my eyes could see.
Chorus
I’ll follow thee, of life the giver,
I’ll follow thee, suffering redeemer,
I’ll follow thee, deny thee never,
By thy grace I’ll follow thee.

2.
I heard his voice unto me saying:
Take up thy cross and follow me.
My heart is thine, now thee obeying,
Speak all thy will, dear Lord, to me.
Make weakness strength, thy power now give me,
And from this hour I’ll follow thee.

We are told in Mathew 16:24 that in order to be a follower of Jesus we must take up thy cross and it goes on to tell us in verse 2 that if we follow him he will give us strength and power.

Stories of Jesus

1 John 1:1-4 New International Version (NIV)

The Incarnation of the Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our[a] joy complete.

When reading this verse of scripture and title I am reminded of the hymn I learnt as a child.

  1. Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
    Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here;
    Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
    Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
  2. First let me hear how the children stood round His knee,
    And I shall fancy His blessing resting on me;
    Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,
    All in the love light of Jesus’ face.
  3. Tell me, in accents of wonder, how rolled the sea,
    Tossing the boat in a tempest on Galilee;
    And how the Maker, ready and kind,
    Chided the billows, and hushed the wind.
  4. Into the city I’d follow the children’s band,
    Waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand;
    One of His heralds, yes, I would sing
    Loudest hosannas, “Jesus is King!”
  5. Show me that scene in the garden, of bitter pain;
    Show me the cross where my Savior for me was slain;
    Sad ones or bright ones, so that they be
    Stories of Jesus—tell them to me.

Hope in the Darkness 

Jeremiah 31:16-26 New International Version 

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Restrain your voice from weeping
    and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,”
declares the Lord.
    “They will return from the land of the enemy.
17 So there is hope for your descendants,”
declares the Lord.
    “Your children will return to their own land.

18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning:
    ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf,
    and I have been disciplined.
Restore me, and I will return,
    because you are the Lord my God.
19 After I strayed,
    I repented;
after I came to understand,
    I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated
    because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20 Is not Ephraim my dear son,
    the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him,
    I still remember him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
    I have great compassion for him,”
declares the Lord.

21 “Set up road signs;
    put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway,
    the road that you take.
Return, Virgin Israel,
    return to your towns.
22 How long will you wander,
    unfaithful Daughter Israel?
The Lord will create a new thing on earth—
    the woman will return to[a] the man.”

23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity,[b] the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.’ 24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns—farmers and those who move about with their flocks. 25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.

1
Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
2
Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storm and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
3
Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
4
Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into the joy and pleasure, Thine own,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the flock Thy love doth enfold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee!

A Risen Saviour

Mark 16 New International Version

Jesus Has Risen

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[a]

  1. King of my life, I crown Thee now,
    Thine shall the glory be;
    Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow,
    Lead me to Calvary.
    • Refrain:
      Lest I forget Gethsemane,
      Lest I forget Thine agony;
      Lest I forget Thy love for me,
      Lead me to Calvary.
  2. Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
    Tenderly mourned and wept;
    Angels in robes of light arrayed
    Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.
  3. Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
    Come with a gift to Thee;
    Show to me now the empty tomb,
    Lead me to Calvary.
  4. May I be willing, Lord, to bear
    Daily my cross for Thee;
    Even Thy cup of grief to share,
    Thou hast borne all for me.

That Green Hill

Luke 23 New International Version

 

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus, our Forever Friend

John 15:12-15

12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

The first time I heard this song I got to admit I liked it, the laughable thing about it was it took me a few times to listen to it for the words to register with me.

Why I didn’t catch on the first time Heaven only knows. This is a brilliant testimony and invitation to get to know Christ

 

Everybody needs a little help sometime
No one stands alone
Makes no difference if you’re just a child like me
Or a king upon a throne
For there are no exceptionsSee the source image
We all stand in the line
Everybody needs a friend
Let me tell you of mine
——-
Chorus:
He’s my forever friend
My leave-me-never friend
From darkest night to rainbow’s end
He’s my forever friend
——-
Even when I turn away He cares for me
His love no one can shake
Even as I walk away He’s by my side
With every breath I take
And sometimes I forget Him
My halo fails to shine
Sometimes I’m not His friend
But He is always mine
——-
Repeat chorus:
If you still don’t know the one I’m talking of
I think it’s time you knew
Long ago and far away upon a cross
My friend died for you
So if you’d like to meet Him
And don’t know what to do
Ask my friend into you heart
And He’ll be your friend too

 

Christ Humbles himself

Philippians 2 New International Version

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

On every hill our Saviour dies, And not on Calvary’s height alone, His sorrow darkens all our skies, His griefs for all our wrongs atone.

Present he is in all our woes, Upon a worldwide cross is hung, And with exceeding bitter throes, His world embracing heart is wrung.

In us invested is,
God cannot pass a suppliant by;
For heard of God's eternities
Our prayers repeat the Saviour's cry.
And for the sake of that dear name
With which all hope of good is given,
Our heavenly load of sin and shame
The Father clears and cries: Forgiven!

Worthy is the Lamb

Photo by Tatiana on Pexels.com

Revelation 5 The Message (MSG)

11-14 I looked again. I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the Animals, and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:

The slain Lamb is worthy!
Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength!
Take the honor, the glory, the blessing!

Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing:

To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honour, the glory, the strength,
For age after age after age.

The Four Animals called out, “Oh, Yes!” The Elders fell to their knees and worshipped.