Easter, the suffering of Jesus, and Victory Sunday, Apr 8 2007 

This past Wednesday my friend Michael Ingram shared on the Stations of the Curse during Chapel at Gordon College. His words were deep and effectual, glorifying the name of Jesus while calling all to marvel at his selfless and humble life. Michael graphically portrayed the suffering of Jesus blended with Christ’s ultimate victory at the cross in a way that could do nothing but leave one knowing the greatness of our Lord. I was deeply moved by his speech and know that you will be too. This Easter I encourage you to read and receive the words of Michael Ingram.

John Donne: Holy Sonnet XI
“Spit in my face you Jews, and pierce my side,
Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,
For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he
Who could do no iniquity hath died:
But by my death can not be satisfied
My sins, which pass the Jews’ impiety:
They killed once an inglorious man, but I
Crucify him daily, being now glorified.
Oh let me, then, his strange love still admire:
Kings pardon, but he bore our punishment.
And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire
But to supplant, and with gainful intent:
God clothed himself in vile man’s flesh, that so
He might be weak enough to suffer woe.”

Few poets whet our appetite for Christ quite like John Donne… (more…)

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A Church Service Like None Other Wednesday, Apr 4 2007 

Well maybe not “like none other” but on Sunday I attended a church service that was unlike anything I had ever been to. Pastor Bryan Wilkerson, of Grace Chapel, came out onto the stage, clothed in old Roman dress as the character of Pontius Pilate. He proceded to share the personal testimony of Pontius Pilate, telling of his life from his military leadership to his appointment to governor of Judea from a first person perspective. Then from the text of Matthew 27:17-26, Pastor Bryan continued to share a monologue from Pilate of how that one day had changed his life forever, the day he met Jesus. Pilate knew that Jesus did not break any law and he did not deserve death, but the people wanted him dead so badly. He knew it was wrong and tried to offer up another option, even putting Jesus through intense and completely undeserved torture, but the crowd only got more rowdy. They wanted Jesus, and they wanted him crucified. Rather than let the riot grow, Pilate decided to give Jesus over to the crowd and let him be crucified. When said this, Pilate washed his hands and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.” Pilate knew Jesus was not a normal man, he wasn’t even a great man, Jesus was more. Although the history is not known, it is widely believed that Pilate spent much of the rest of his life in the desert, alone. This is the perspective that Pastor Bryan shared from and it was very powerful. After sharing the testimony of Pilate and the day that changed his life forever Pastor Bryan walked off stage. The worship leader, Peter Dupre, came on and shared that just as Pilate met Jesus and had to make a decision as to who he was, we, too, have to make that same decision. The same Jesus who stood literally in front of Pilate stands in front of us today waiting for our decision to be made. Will we honor him as God or will we reject him and miss the opportunity to receive our Savior?