PASSIONTIDE HALLELUJAH

(Parody of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah)

The disciples met to eat the Feast.
The Master showed Himself the least;
The Lamb leading the Paschal celebration.
He took the bread; he took the wine:
“My flesh is torn; this blood is mine:”
The Servant-King preparing His oblation.

(Chorus)

In the garden He prayed in pain,
“Not my will, Father, Yours must reign” –
The Suffering Servant incarnate just for this.
The night was bright with sudden flame,
With men and swords our Judas came:
Betrayed his loving Master with a kiss!

(Chorus)

The High Priest’s demand was plain and dire:
“Tell us, man, are you our Messiah?”
Jesus was forthright; he didn’t cower:
“It is exactly what you say,
And you will see on that final day
The Son of Man at the right hand of the Power!”

(Chorus)

Now Herod who ruled in Galilee
Was very keen this man to see,
Confusing magic with divinity.
But when the King would not oblige,
All Herod’s men hurled scornful jibes,
The real King enduring all with silent majesty.

(Chorus)

Then Pilate said, “Behold, I find
No evidence of any crime,
But I shall have him beaten up to satisfy.”
The crowd all shouted, “He must die!”
And Pilate said, “He’s guiltless – why?”
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify!”

(Chorus)

The night was cold. I’m sure you know
How icy winds of fear can blow.
I was seeking warmth, while He was standing trial.
“You followed Him: we all can see
You also come from Galilee.”
No weeping can undo my loud denials.

(Chorus)

Three crosses stood upon the hill,
Though years have passed, I see Him still:
Divine yet human nailed up for my salvation.
On the guiltless one my sin is laid,
And with His blood my debt is paid:
He gives up His last breath in consummation!

(Chorus)

Then in the Sunday morning’s gloom
Our women saw the empty tomb;
The Master spoke to Mary; it was no vision.
So John and I ran to the place
But all we saw was empty space,
The grave clothes bare: the Master He had risen!

(Chorus)

[For an instrumental version of the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62JYtzi86M8]

This is a parody of the famous Leonard Cohen song  Hallelujah. I dedicate it to all those whose Hallelujahs are cold or broken.

 
You know what lurks inside me, Lord
You know just why I feel a fraud
But through it all Your love is just as sure
My life is up and down, but when
I fall, You raise me up again
And all that I can do is pant: “My Saviour!”

Hallelujah
O my Saviour
Hallelujah
Jesus Saviour

My faith’s not strong, not doubtingproof
I fall too often, that’s the truth
The burden of my sin surely hides You
The world, the flesh: I fall apart
I stretch my hands out to Your heart
If I can only cling to You, my Saviour!

Hallelujah
O my Saviour
Hallelujah
Jesus Saviour

I know I’ve said this all before
I try again; I can’t do more
I surrender, I give up, I can’t stay true
You’d judge my life as such a farce
It’s certainly no victory march
As I stumble, and I fall before my Saviour

Hallelujah
Lift me, Saviour
Hallelujah
Jesus Saviour

From time to time it’s true, I find
Your words keep playing in my mind
But sometimes so faint: if I am far from You
Without Your voice, I’m so forlorn
But when I see the crown of thorns
I weep beneath the cross of Christ my Saviour

Hallelujah
Christ my Saviour
Hallelujah
Christ my Saviour

 

I know You came down from above
Your life, Your death: it all was love
You came to set us captives free in You
And on that cross Your blood You shed
Yet three days later from the dead
The Father raised You up: O Glorious Saviour!

Hallelujah
Glorious Saviour
Hallelujah
Jesus Saviour

So now from sin You set me free
Let Holy Spirit dwell in me
So I can live the way You want me to
And when the end of time has come
The battle fought, the victory song
Is glory to the Lamb, Christ my Saviour!

Hallelujah
Glorious Saviour
Hallelujah
Jesus Saviour

Hallelujah
Christ my Saviour
Hallelujah
Jesus Saviour

Link for Israeli Defence Force singing it in Hebrew. However, they sing 5 stanzas; I have 6; and one of the versions has 7!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtAMrRtuF_4

Below is a link to another parody of this song, but Christmas-themed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1OzT2NZQ6I

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 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

I have a King is a parody ABBA’s I have a dream. This was written yesterday, on Resurrection Sunday 2012.

I have a King, whose praise I sing;
His death’s brought victory over Sin.
And he died in my place to atone my guilt;
Yes, it was for my sake that his blood was spilt.
I believe in Jesus;
I believe in all he’s done for me.
I believe in Jesus;
And I know that he has set me free:
I have a King who’s conquered Sin.

No fantasy, it’s history:
Salvation’s now reality:
And my destination makes pain worth the while;
Peering through the darkness I can see him smile.
I believe in Jesus;
I believe in all he’s done for me.
I believe in Jesus;
And I know that he has set me free:
I have a King who’s conquered Sin;
I have a King who’s conquered Sin

I have a King enthroned above
Who came to earth out of great love,
And he cast his glory totally aside;
Yes, he walked on this earth, and in my place he died:
I believe in Jesus;
Now he’s risen, and he’s glorified;
I believe in Jesus,
And I know that he has set me free:
I have a King who’s conquered Sin;
I have a King who’s conquered Sin.

References below are from NET courtesy of The Word.
For NIV click the link below each reference.

John 3:16-18  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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in him is not condemned.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/3.htm

Philippians 2: 6-[Christ Jesus] though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/philippians/2.htm

Gal. 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/galatians/5.htm

1 Cor 15: 56-57 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
http://niv.scripturetext.com/1_corinthians/15.htm

1 Cor 5:7(b) For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/1_corinthians/5.htm

Rom 5:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/romans/5.htm

Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/ephesians/1.htm

Eph 1:20 This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/ephesians/1.htm

Rom 8:18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/romans/8.htm

Rev 7:14 “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! For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them. They will never go hungry or be thirsty again, and the sun will not beat down on them, nor any burning heat, because the Lamb in the middle of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/7.htm

John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/8.htm

Colos 3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/colossians/3.htm

Rev 5:8(b) … the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders threw themselves to the ground before the Lamb.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/5.htm

Rev 5:12-14 … all of whom were singing in a loud voice: “Worthy is the lamb who was killed to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature – in heaven, on earth, under the earth, in the sea, and all that is in them – singing: “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honour, glory, and ruling power forever and ever!”
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/5.htm

Rev 7:10-12 They were shouting out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood there in a circle around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground before the throne and worshipped God, saying, “Amen! Praise and glory, and wisdom and thanksgiving, and honour and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/7.htm

Hebr 4:14-15 Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 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.
http://niv.scripturetext.com/hebrews/4.htm

This is a parody of the Survivor song: Eye of the tiger. I feel that this is a real fighting tune, and is therefore suitable for the biggest fight ever.

[20 June 2011]

 

Coming down, saving the lost,
He left His glory behind Him
Went the distance and He died on the Cross
Son of Man with a mission to save

So many times He’s faced with rejection
He changed His glory for passion:
Don’t lose you grip on the hope for salvation
You must hold on until He arrives

 

It’s the love of the Saviour, it’s the quest for the lost,
Coming down here to challenge the Accuser
The exchange for our freedom is His death on the Cross
And it comes to us all with the love of the Saviour.

 

Day to day out on the street
Still I fail and I’m angry
Should take His love to the people I meet
But there’s still room for us in His grace

 

It’s the love of the Saviour, it’s the quest for the lost,
Coming down here to challenge the Accuser
The exchange for our freedom is His death on the Cross
And it comes to us all with the love of the Saviour.

 

Risen up, Lamb on the Throne
Has the crown, has the glory
Won the battle, now the victory’s He owns
God of God gladly welcomes us home

 

It’s the love of the Saviour, it’s the quest for the lost,
Coming down here to challenge the Accuser
The exchange for our freedom is His death on the Cross
And it comes to us all with the love of the Saviour.

 

The love of the Saviour.

The love of the Saviour.

 

Luke 19: 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

Philippians 2:6ff [Jesus] though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, ​​​​​​​but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. ​​​​​​​He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! ​​​​​​​As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, ​​​​​​​so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – ​​​​​​​and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

 

Isaiah 53:3 ​​​​​​​He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. ​​​​​​But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain

 

Rev 5:12 Worthy is the lamb who was killed to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and praise.

This is a parody of the iconic REM song: Losing my religion. On Resurrection Sunday 2011 I could not resist the irony. We have not found a religion; we have a Saviour who has found us in our darkness and taken us into the light of His Presence.


Oh Lord, you suffered
Yes, dying for me
And I was guilty
The lengths that you have gone to
Incarnate, crucified
Oh yes it was my sin:
You took it on

That’s me in my darkness
That’s me in the Son’s light
Finding your forgiveness
Trying to keep up your Law
And I know that I can’t do it
Jesus, You have done it all
There’s nothing I can add
I know that you died for me
I know that you rose for me
I know your death has set us free

Every minute
Of every waking hour I’m
Choosing to confess you
Trying to keep your word
Live according to your Truth
Oh yes you’ve done it all
You’ve set me free

Consider this
Consider this:
The Cross of Calvary
Consider this:
The death that brought me
To my knees, saved
And the Grace You’ve given
Stands guarding me now
And You have done it all
I know that you died for me
I know that you rose for me
I know your death has set us free

Sacrificed your life
That was all your love

That’s me in my darkness
That’s me in the Son’s light
Finding your forgiveness
Trying to keep up your law
And I know that I can’t do it
Jesus, You have done it all
There’s nothing I can add
I know that you died for me
I know that you rose for me
I know your death has set us free

Sacrificed your life
That was all your love

Your blood poured out
Your life poured out
That was all your love
All your love

Just your love


Romans 5:8f God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath.

Rom 3:23ff for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

2 Cor 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.

Rom 10:9 if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Galations 2:16 we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

Philippians 2:6 (Christ Jesus) though he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, ​​​​​​​but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature.

1 Peter 2:24 By his wounds you were healed.

1 Peter 2:9 …so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

1 John 2:1 Jesus Christ the righteous One,4and he himself is the atoning sacrifice1 for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.2

1 John 4:15 If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God.

Hebrews 10:10 By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.