Week Twenty-three of Cultivate Delight, where we are actively planning our spiritual endeavors this coming week with the goal of a consistent time spent engaging our hearts with Christ in his word, in prayer, in reflection, and in music. Below are some starting points for reflection, and I hope you find them helpful. The goal is to not just rush through these and then get on with your day. Take your time and reflect throughout the week on these items.
“The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.”
― Jonathan Edwards
Liturgy – New City Catechism
Question 23: Why must the Redeemer be truly God?
That because of his divine nature his obedience and suffering would be perfect and effective; and also that he would be able to bear the righteous anger of God against sin and yet overcome death.
God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Holy, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Lord God Almighty! Jesus was the fullness of God in a human body. The fullness of deity found in the person of Jesus Christ. For only the holy and righteous one could live a perfect obedient life. A life filled with suffering to learn obedience. A perfect life lived to only glorify God. Jesus lived this perfect life being fully obedient in every way before a holy and righteous God.
This same Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death. Even death on a cross. He took upon himself all of our sins and he himself bore our due punishment. Jesus, the perfect and righteous One, had the full and complete wrath of God laid upon him as punishment for our sin. And yet death had no victory over Him. For he was still the author of life and death had no authority. God raised Jesus from the dead as a testament to the saving work of the punishment paid for on the cross. The resurrection of Jesus is our sure sign that sin has no dominion over us any longer. We belong to Christ! He has bought and paid for us. We are no longer a slave to sin, but a slave to righteousness. Praise the Lord! Amen.
And Can It Be That I Should Gain
And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me. [Refrain]
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]