This is a near parody of the Alice Cooper song: Poison

Your home on high
Your throne divine
You left it all
Came down to die

I hate my sin, but I just can’t stop
(Can’t stop)
I wanna bow down , and my conscience tells me it’s right
I wanna live right, and I want it so much
(So much)
I wanna love You, for Your death is infinite mercy
Your mercy breaking all these chains
Your Mercy
I don’t wanna stay the same

Your sac-rifice
Your blood, my life
One drop can heal
Your pain, I’m free

I hear You calling, and You promise new life
(New life)
I wanna follow ‘cause I hear You calling my name
I wanna follow and live under Your will
(Your will)
I wanna know You and Your heart of infinite mercy
Your mercy breaking all these chains
Your Mercy
I don’t wanna stay the same, mercy

One drop
(One drop)
Can heal
(Can heal)
Your death, I’m free

I want Your freedom; so come clean up my heart
(My heart)
I wanna praise You, and I never want it to stop
I want Your Spirit and I want it so much
(So much)
I wanna hold on to Your heart of infinite mercy
Your mercy cleansing all my sins
Your mercy
I want You to break these chains, mercy
(Mercy)

I want Your freedom; so come clean up my heart
(My heart)
I wanna praise You, and I never want it to stop
I want Your Spirit and I want it so much
(So much)
I wanna hold on to Your heart of infinite mercy
Your mercy cleansing all my sins
Your mercy
I want You to break these chains, mercy

Cleansing deep inside my soul, mercy
(Mercy)
Thank You that You break these chains
(Thank You)
(Thank You)
Thank You that You break these chains

 

References quoted below are from NET. Clicking the link takes you to the NIV.

Phil 2:8
He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross!
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/philippians/2.htm

Jude 1:21
maintain1 yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life.
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/jude/1.htm

1 Pet 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/1_peter/1.htm

Eph 2:5-7
But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/ephesians/2.htm

Rom 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/romans/3.htm

Rom 6:4
Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/romans/6.htm

Rom 7:6
But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/romans/7.htm

Rom 7:14
For we know that the law is spiritual – but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. 15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate.
To view this excerpt in context, click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/romans/7.htm

John 3:16
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life
To read this verse in context click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/john/3.htm

Rev 7:14
Then he said to me, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!
To read this verse in context click the following link:
http://biblehub.com/niv/revelation/7.htm

[This was written in the week leading up to Good Friday this year.]

From the Cross
a drop of blood falls,
spreads out, washes over
Jerusalem, Samaria, Asia Minor
Europe, Africa, the whole world.

Arms stretched out,
the Man, the Son, cries out
“Come and bathe; wash yourselves clean.”
The blood of the Lamb: in each drop
– an ocean of forgiveness and Life.

This is the text of the sermon delivered at my Mom’s Memorial Service on 28 June 2013. It was delivered by my son, Marcus, a Theology student. It was also the first “real” sermon he preached!It summarises our salvation.

You can look up the Biblical references by clicking on them.

 
The Battle Won: Standing by grace in the holy place

 
Reading from Psalm 24. http://biblehub.com/niv/psalms/24.htm
New Testament reading from Hebrews 12:18-29. http://biblehub.com/niv/hebrews/12.htm

 
[Prayer before sermon]
Father of mercies and God of all comfort, help us today to comprehend that we have a strong and certain hope in the midst of grief.  Lord, you have the words of eternal life [Jn 6:68]; where else shall we go?  We ask that your Holy Spirit who inspired these words of Scripture would give us understanding, that according to your great mercy we might know the living hope kept in heaven: imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.  In the name of Jesus, who is the Resurrection and the Life, Amen.

 
Dear friends and family, thank you for this opportunity to remember my grandmother with you and to take encouragement with you in a few precious truths from the Scriptures.  It is the paradox of a Christian’s death that ours is a joyful grief; for, as the Apostle Paul says, though we do grieve, we do not grieve as those who have no hope [1Thes 4:13].

 
The passage we read from the letter to the Hebrews speaks vividly of our great hope and comfort: Lilian Collins, my Gran, has come to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the assembly of all who are enrolled in heaven.  Her name, together with the names of all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, has been written there for all eternity.  She stands now, together with a great cloud of witnesses [Heb 12:1], in the very presence of the Father, God Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth and judge of all; and her standing place there has been secured by the blood of the victorious Lord Jesus Christ, who endured the scorn of the cross [Heb 12:2] to redeem all who would trust wholly in him, to the praise of his glorious grace.  That is why I have titled this message “The battle won: Standing by grace in the holy place.”  Yes, friends, the battle has been won, and she stands by grace in the holy place.

 
My Gran desired that Psalm 24 be the text for her memorial, and I invite you to turn there with me, while keeping in mind this magnificent picture in Hebrews 12 of true worship of the true and living God.  Psalm 24 asks us two very direct questions.   This morning we will consider primarily the first question, which is at the heart of this psalm: “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who shall stand in his holy place?” [Psa 24:3]  I pray that we will receive further hope, comfort, and encouragement from the Lord as we understand the basis for our confidence that, more alive now than ever before, my Gran now experiences unending and unhindered joy in the very presence of God.  As the English minister and poet John Donne said, “No man ever saw God and lived.  And yet, I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen him, I shall never die.”[John Donne, sermon XCV, on Job 19:26.]

 
Now, to give you just a little background, Psalm 24 is a song composed by King David, who was king of Israel around 3000 years ago.  It is a triumphant song which David wrote to commemorate the arrival of the Ark of the Covenant at Mount Zion in Jerusalem.[2 Sam 6]  This Ark of the Covenant (or promise) was a gold-plated wooden box, a little over a metre long, containing the Ten Commandments and other reminders of God’s just and providential care and guidance of his people, the Israelites.  Most importantly, it symbolised God himself dwelling among his people, his glory resting with them – even as in the Exodus God had rescued his people from Egypt and his presence and protection were symbolised by the pillar of cloud and of fire.  And when Israel went into battle, the Ark went before them, a picture that God himself was leading them and winning the victory for them.  So the arrival of the Ark at Mount Zion in Jerusalem was a momentous occasion – one of the highlights of the Old Testament – for it symbolised the very presence of God with his people, and his faithfulness to the promises he had made to them.

 
Psalm 24 begins by recognising God as the sovereign creator, ruler, and sustainer of all the universe, and especially of us, the people dwelling therein, whom he has created as distinct from the rest of creation to be in special relationship with him.  Therefore he alone is worthy of worship, worthy of praise and glory and honour.  It is the question of how we ought to worship God, of how we may enjoy his presence, which concerns us in this Psalm; and answering that question will give us confidence in our comfort today.

 
David asks, “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who shall stand in his holy place?”  To ascend and stand before the Lord is to be in his holy, pure, perfect presence, to enjoy the fellowship with God for which we were created – that fellowship which Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden before they rebelled [Gen 3] against God’s good and just rule and sought to usurp his perfect moral authority; that fellowship which was broken because of their rebellion.  To be in God’s holy presence, worshipping him, is the highest privilege and the deepest joy of all, and the fulfilment of our most ardent longings.  As David exclaimed in another Psalm, “In your presence is fullness of joy”[Psa 16:11; cf. Psa 21:6.].  And we learn elsewhere that it was on this occasion commemorated in Psalm 24 that David danced before the Lord with all his might [2 Sam 6:14.], so great was his rejoicing at the prospect of being in the presence of the Lord.  That is the same joy we see in the celebration of Hebrews 12.  And that, dear friends, is the fullness of joy which my Gran now experiences, and this gives us comfort in the midst of our grief.

 
But the question, “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who shall stand in his holy place?” is no matter of mere formality.  This is not a simple question of etiquette, about how to approach a state president or the Queen, of what to wear, what to say, when to bow or curtsey.  This is far more weighty, as the passage in Hebrews reminds us: “Our God is a consuming fire.”  And we will find unshakeable confidence for our comfort as we answer the question, “Who shall stand in his holy place?”

 
David answers this question, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart.”  But think for a moment of the implications of this.  The great King David himself committed adultery with Bathsheba, tried to cover up the resulting pregnancy, and finally had Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, murdered.  He is hardly the kind of person of whom we might say, “He had clean hands.”  But to take it further, the Lord Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew [Mat 5:27-30; 21-22.] taught that adultery and murder were not simply matters committed by the hand.  Jesus said, if you’ll pardon the paraphrase, that adultery was not jumping into bed with the wrong woman: that was the result of adultery, which we have already committed in our hearts in every lustful glance.  Likewise, murder was not taking a stick and bashing someone over the head: that was the result of murder, which we have already committed in our hearts in every malicious thought.  Jesus’ teaching revealed that we are all at heart adulterers and murderers.  Not one of us has a pure heart, even if we might claim to have clean hands.  Who, then, shall ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who shall stand in his holy place?  Psalm 24 anticipates the answer that not one of us can qualify by virtue of our own righteousness, yet it holds out hope to all who acknowledge they have dirty hands and defiled hearts.

 
You have heard how my Gran did not want a eulogy at her memorial.  She did not presume to come to the table of our merciful Lord – nor, finally, to his throne in glory – trusting in her own righteousness, but in his manifold and great mercies.  Righteousness – that is, the ability to stand in the presence of the holy, holy, holy God without fear of judgement and condemnation – this righteousness is not earned, but rather received.  There are no good deeds we could ever do to merit the favour of God and so restore fellowship with him, because at the end of the day all our attempts at self-righteousness are like filthy rags [Isa 64:6.] before the holiness, the moral perfection, of God.  No, friends, the righteousness that saves is, as verse 5 says, “righteousness from the God of [our] salvation”.  It is righteousness not of our own doing, but of God’s gracious giving.

 
This is why we can be confident in this great comfort, friends, which we can have today that my Gran is in the joyous presence of the Lord.  We must not ask, “Was she enough of a saint to enter heaven and stand before God, the holy God of all the world?” – for she appears before the throne of God not clothed in her own good works, but in the righteousness that God has given to all who put their trust wholly in what Christ Jesus has done.

 
In the New Testament letter of James, which was one of my Gran’s favourites, James writes that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”[Jam 4:6.]  The proud are those who trust in their own resources for their salvation (their good works, rituals, a legacy, etc.), rather than trusting in God; they will be opposed and condemned by God as rebels against his just and perfect rule.  But the humble are those who realise that the project of self-salvation is futile. They acknowledge that they are indeed rebels against God and deserve his judgement, and they humbly cast themselves on his mercy, trusting wholly in what Christ has done.  God gives grace to the humble.

 
Think again of that Ark of the Covenant, whose arrival at Mount Zion in Jerusalem marked the occasion for this Psalm.  On top of the Ark was fashioned what was called the “mercy seat” or “atonement cover”, and it was there that God had said he would meet with Moses, Aaron, and the high priests [Exo 25:21-22].  They could come into the presence of God only if he were merciful to them, and only if their sins were atoned for, that is, paid for; otherwise, their own sinfulness would render them liable to his just judgement.  They could not approach trusting in their own righteousness, but only trusting in his faithfulness and mercy.  They did have to come in perfect righteousness – but that righteousness was not of themselves.  Instead, it was a righteousness given to them by God, by virtue of their trust in his promises, rather than their merits, and on the basis of the blood of a sacrifice sprinkled on the mercy seat to signify that another had died in their place, to atone for their sin [Lev16; Heb 9:5.].
Friends, in the letter to the Hebrews, from which we read earlier, we are also told that the Ark of the Covenant, all the temple furnishings, its sacrificial system, and its high priests, were a picture pointing prophetically forward to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He indeed manifested the presence of God, as the Gospel of John tells us: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”[Joh 1:14.]  He alone came with clean hands and a pure heart, not only to Mount Zion, but also to the Mount of Golgotha, to Calvary, to the cross.  There he was crucified as a perfect sacrifice in the place of all those who would trust in him.  By his death he paid the penalty for their sins, and by his resurrection he secured their eternal life with him in glory.

 
The letter to the Hebrews tells us again, “Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf….  He has appeared once for all … to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”[Heb 9:24-26.]  Because Christ stood in the place of judgement on our behalf, all who trust in him receive the righteousness of the God of their salvation, and may stand in the holy place, in the presence of God.  As the Apostle Paul puts it, “For our sake [God] made [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”[2 Cor 5:21.]  Those who trust in him are forgiven their sins, clothed in the righteousness of God, and reconciled to God, and will experience the fullness of joy in the presence of God for all eternity.  This is the basis of our confidence for our great comfort and joy today: not that my Gran was a good person, but that she trusted in the only good Saviour.

 
We have not asked the second question Psalm 24 poses, though we’ve already seen the answer to it: “Who is this King of glory?”  Just as the Ark of the Covenant went before the nation of Israel to show that it was God himself who was mighty in battle on their behalf to conquer their enemies, so it is Christ Jesus who has fought on our behalf to conquer the great enemy, sin, and has risen victorious from the grave to show that death, too, is ultimately conquered.

 
The King of Glory is, indeed, none other than the risen and ascended Christ, the Lord, strong and mighty, mighty in battle over sin and death, who has ascended and entered into heaven itself – the only One with clean hands and a pure heart qualified to do so.  For him the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem are flung wide open to admit their King.  But this King of Glory, strong and mighty, will also carry all who trust in him, rather than in their own efforts, up the hill of the Lord, to stand in the holy place.  Our confidence, our comfort, our joy and encouragement rest in Christ alone, the King of Glory.  The battle is won, friends: stand (with my Gran) by grace in the holy place.

This is again a somewhat unusual posting. My Mom died on 19 June this year of congestive heart failure. Bluntly, in spite of treatment she died from drowning in the fluid collecting in her lungs. Many funerals deal with only the deceased and the family, and, to most intents and purposes, sideline God. Mom forbade a eulogy: below is the second half of my.tribute. Gloria soli Deo.

Right and wrong were very clear to Mom; as clear as black and white, with no shades of grey. And she was respected.

One thing that was always central to her life was the church. If she could help it, she wouldn’t miss, especially communion. If communion was at 08h00 and she had to sing in the choir at 10h30, well then, we went to two services. (We thank those of you who made her feel so welcome here, especially Yvonne, who became more like a daughter to her.) Her faith, she said, carried her, and at times when I was feeling pessimistic, she would say: “Have faith,” just like someone might say, “Have more common sense.”

Mom was stubborn – which in her later years she admitted. Sometimes stubbornness is a pain; sometimes it’s a virtue: Mom had a stubborn sense of duty. That manifested itself in the way she looked after us. When I was still very small, we were quite poor, but she always made sure that we looked clean and smart, especially our school uniforms. She also had a sense of duty towards God. She had her daily Bible readings from the lectionary (very Anglican!). Her faith was stubborn, and that’s really what carried her for years, but especially in more recent months, as she was walking through the “valley of the shadow of death”. I don’t think she was at all frightened about dying. As the hymn says:

Jesus lives! thy terrors now
Can, O Death, no more appal us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
Thou, O Grave, canst not enthral us.
Hallelujah!

Jesus lives! henceforth is death
But the gate of Life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath,
When we pass its gloomy portal.
Hallelujah!

Jesus lives! our hearts know well
Naught from us His love shall sever;
Life, nor death, nor powers of hell
Tear us from His keeping ever.
Hallelujah!

That’s what kept her alive; and that’s why she could die without fear. And that’s is why we could let her go. Granted, it was terrible watching her suffer; but death was more than the mere relief from discomfort and really difficult breathing.

In church, on the Sunday before she died, I had a vision, which is extremely unusual for me. It couldn’t have lasted more than a fraction of a second, but it was so powerful that it left me wobbly, physically and emotionally.

Imagine a picture in a frame. To the left is Mom. Then there’s a river. On the right of the river is a grassy field. On the upper right is an “empty” cross; between the cross and the river is Jesus, facing Mom and beckoning to her and calling, “Come!”.

So she has taken up His invitation and she is home with her Saviour.

I’ll close with the words of an sms from a close friend:
“Farewell to her, Amazing lady. Present with God breathing [the] fresh air of heaven.”

This is rather different from my usual postings.

Ever since just before Resurrection Sunday (Easter) my Mom had been in and out of hospital. She had water on the lungs and shrunken heart valves; so she had a bad circulation of badly oxygenated blood, and so felt she could not breathe. Because of her age, her frail condition and the state of her blood vessels she could not go through with the five operations that would have prolonged her life, or at least enabled her to be more active.

She had always been very independent and fairly active, doing her own housework past the age of 90. We all knew, when she turned down the operations, that she would have little time left, maybe two years at most . In simple faith she accepted that. However, none of us realised she would go so quickly.

Seeing her suffer, struggling to breathe, even though she was on oxygen, was very hard.

In church one or two Sundays before she died I had a vision (although I’m not a “vision person”. Mom was on the left bank of a river. On the other side was a grassy field. On the upper right was an “empty” cross; between the cross and the river was Jesus beckoning to her and calling, “Come”.

On the day she died it was so bad seeing her suffer, and the vision had given me such assurance; so that night I prayed for Jesus to come and fetch her.

About an hour later we were called to the hospital. By the time we had got there, she had gone. I smsed (texted) my God-sister to give her the news. She replied:

“Farewell to her, amazing lady. Present with God breathing [the] fresh air of heaven.”

The next morning I woke up with this short poem:

 

I cried –

Until you died.

O what pain

That we should gain

The green fields of eternity!

 

John 11:25

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

To read ths excerpt in context go to: http://biblehub.com/niv/john/11.htm

{This is a parody of the Natalie Imbruglia song Torn, to which I was listening sometime before Good Friday 2013.]

I know of One, who lived this life
He was born, he walked around and he was crucified
They say that he was born to die

Well, he wasn’t who they thought he’d be
He came down here
Came to set helpless captives free
To reconcile God and men

There was nothing else; he had to die
The only way to justify
All separation’s gone
The Temple veil is torn

It’s a step of faith
That is why I kneel
He was mocked and shamed
Hanging naked on a cross

The Law could never change
Had no power to heal
The lamb was slain and I can see
The sinless One was torn
He took on all my sin, in my place was torn

So the only way I can respond
Open my heart to what is there
Accept forgiveness now

It’s washed upon  my soul
And now I’m his; that’s how it is
I don’t miss my old life much
There’s just so many things
I am thankful for, reborn

It’s a step of faith
That is why I kneel
He was mocked and shamed
Hanging naked on a cross

The Law could never change
Had no power to heal
The Lamb was slain and I can see
The sinless One was torn
He took on all my sin, in my place was torn, torn

There was nothing else; he had to die
The only way to justify
All separation’s gone
The Temple veil is torn

It’s a step of faith
That is why I kneel
He was mocked and shamed
Hanging naked on a cross

The Law could never change
Had no power to heal
The lamb was slain and I can see
The sinless One was torn

It’s a step of faith
That is why I kneel
He was mocked and shamed
Hanging naked on a cross
He took on all  my sin, in my place was torn, torn

NOTE: Clickable Biblical references take you to the English New International Version translation. If you want a language other than English, click on the appropriate flag at the top of the page the link takes you to.

Matth 2:4  After assembling all the chief priests and experts in the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they said, “for it is written this way by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are in no way least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
To read this in its context click the following link:  http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/2.htm

Micah 5:2  But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/micah/5.htm

Matth 27:24ff   So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged  Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/27.htm

Mark 15:15   So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged1  Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/mark/15.htm

Luke 23:23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.
To read this in its context click the following link:  http://niv.scripturetext.com/luke/23.htm

John 19:6(b) Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/19.htm

Tacitus: Annales XV (A Roman historian whose writings Annals, Histories and Germania make very interesting (and demanding!) reading.)
(This translation is taken from Tacitus,: The Annals and Histories, edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Regius Professor of Greek, Oxford University
“Christus … suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus …”
To read more about this click the following link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

Isaiah prophesies Messiah’s death: 53:3ff
He was despised and rejected by people … we thought he was being punished,  attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,  crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well;  because of his wounds we have been healed … but the LORD caused the sin of all of us to attack him. He was treated harshly and afflicted … He was led away after an unjust trial … he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded. They intended to bury him with criminals …
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/isaiah/53.htm

Philippians 2:8  He humbled himself,  by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross!
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/philippians/2.htm

Psalm 22  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? …       people insult me and despise me. all who see me taunt me; they mock me and shake their heads. …. “Let the LORD rescue him!  Let the LORD deliver him, for he delights in him.” My strength drains away like water; all my bones are dislocated; my heart is like wax; it melts away inside me. the roof of my mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery;  my tongue sticks to my gums. … I can count all my bones;  my enemies are gloating over me in triumph. They are dividing up my clothes among themselves; they are rolling dice for my garments.
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/psalms/22.htm

John 6:15  Then Jesus, because he knew they were going to come and seize him by force to make him king, withdrew again up the mountainside alone.
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/6.htm

Josephus: The Jewish War [Slavonic text]
“Many of the common people flocked after him and followed his teaching. There was a wave of excited expectation that he would enable the Jewish tribes to throw off the Roman yoke. …When they saw his ability to do whatever he wished by a word, they told him that they wanted him to enter the City [i.e. Jerusalem], destroy the Roman troops, and make himself king; but he took no notice.”

John 19:24  But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out immediately.
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/19.htm

Luke 4:17ff …. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, … “because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” … Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.”
To read this in its context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/luke/4.htm

Luke 7:22 So [Jesus] answered them, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news proclaimed to them…”
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2Corinthians 5:19 .…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation.
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Hebrews 4:15  For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin.
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2Corinthians 5:21  God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.
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Matthew 27:50    Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Just then the temple curtain [“veil”] was torn in two, from top to bottom.
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Luke 23:44  It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 because the sun’s light failed. The temple curtain was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And after he said this he breathed his last.
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Mark 15:37 But Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last. And the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom.
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Josephus: The Jewish War [Slavonic text]
“In the days of our pious fathers this curtain was intact, but in our own generation it was a sorry sight, for it had been suddenly rent from top to bottom at a time when by bribery they had secured the execution of the benefactor of men – the one who by his actions proved that he was no mere man.”

Hebrews 10:19  Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings
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Eph 2:18  It is through Christ that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father.
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Eph 3:12  In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence.
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[This is a parody of the well known song A New Day by Celine Dion.]

A new life in Him
A new life in Him

I’d been struggling for so long
For true freedom to come
From my guilt which had held me so strong
“Reach up and I will draw near.”

Through the darkness and through bad times
I’d felt that you’d disappeared,
Had enough of my sin and so left –
Never! – but that’s what I feared.

But now
I see the light of the Son
Oh, it’s almost blinding me
Yes, I believe!
I’ve been found by your Grace and your love

Let your Grace come down & wash away my tears
Let it save my soul and drown my fears
Let it form a new heart, for a brand new start:

A new life in You!

Where it was dark, now there is hope
Where there was guilt, now there is none
Here in my weakness I found your strength
All through the death of the Son

Yes, now
I see the light of the Son
Oh, thank you for finding me
Yes, I believe!
I’ve been touched by your Grace and your love

Yes, your Grace comes down to wash away my tears
Yes, it fills my soul and drowns my fears
Yes, it’s formed a new heart, for a brand new start:

A new life – yes!

Yes, your Grace comes down to wash away my sin
Yes, it gives me strength, new heart within
Yes, it gives a new life, a new life in the Son

A new life’s begun!

Yes, real life
Yes, yes,
I have new life in the Son
All through the death of the Son

Yes, I believe!
I’ve been freed by your Grace and your love

Yes, I believe!
I’ve been healed by your Grace and your love

Yes, Lord, a new life in You
Yes, Lord, a new life in You

(If English is not your language, you can go to the page in the links below, and at the top of the page click on the flag that represents your language.)

John 1:4  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
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Galat. 5:1  For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.
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Galat. 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another.
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1Peter 2:16   Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves.
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2 Cor 5:17  So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!
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John 14:6  Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
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2 Cor 12:10   whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
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Rom 5:17  For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!
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Rom 8: 1.There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. for the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
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Isaiah 9:2  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
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