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Jesus Christ Is Risen Today – Sunday Songs

Shouting ‘He is risen’; hearing the congregation yell back ‘He is risen indeed’; repeat; repeat.
(I’m sorry about the baby that cried. He’ll get used to it.)
Then the organ sounds and we launch into this.
It doesn’t get a lot better than that.
1
Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
2
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ our heav’nly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!
3
But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured; Alleluia!
Now above the sky he’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!
4
Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as his love; Alleluia!
Praise him, all ye heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!

Here’s the King’s College Choir giving it their shot. I don’t think they sound much better than us.


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2013 Easter Sunrise Service – Valley Lake, Mount Gambier

Celebrating the resurrection life with Christians from across our city.
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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 13

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 13

Chapter 8 – Of Christ the Mediator
(Paragraphs 1-2)
I. It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and men, the prophet, priest, and king; the head and Saviour of the Church, the heir or all things, and judge of the world; unto whom he did, from all eternity, give a people to be his seed, and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.
II. The Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof; yet without sin: being conceived by he power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.


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Of First Importance – (mgpc 31/3/2013)

After an early morning trip to the Valley Lake for a sunrise service, at mgpc tomorrow we’ll focus on Paul’s take on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians.
There we’ll find out what was of first importance for the first generation of Christians and consider what is still of first importance for Christians today.
Songs of preparation will be Because He’s Good (Psalm 118) and God So Loved The World (One For Many).
After a welcome and some announcements we’ll call and repeat the great truth that Christ is risen, He is risen indeed and sing Jesus Christ Is Risen Today.
Our prayer of adoration and confession will praise God for the power that has shattered grave and overcome death, expressing all our thanks that while we rendered the cross necessary, God’s amazing grace and love made it real.
Lord I Lift Your Name On High will give voice to our shared testimony, as will the Nicene Creed and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.
God’s Word continues day in and day out, and our continuing reading from Jeremiah 19 continues God’s charge against Israel with a vivid image of their fate in rebellion. This reminds us of what Jesus endured on the cross, and helps to focus our thankfulness for the redemption he has gained for us, which we’ll express singing Christ The Lord Is Risen Today.
1 Corinthians 15:1-28 would have been part of the church’s life before the written accounts of the resurrection which we have in the Gospels. But we can see how central the facts of Jesus death and resurrection were foundational to Christian life, and how they are meant to have continuing power in every facet of life for Christians. They are not facts from which we move on, they are not a starting line. They are the substance and course of a Christian’s whole life.
We’ll share our prayers of thanksgiving and for others, give our tithes and offerings, then conclude our worship singing Behold Our God.


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Accepting The Answer You Don’t Want For Your Prayers

An excerpt from what seems to be a very recent UK Songs Of Praise interview with incoming Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.


Welby’s daughter died at the age of seven months due to a car crash in 1983.
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The Cry Of Christ Forsaken (via Joel Beeke)

It is important to remember that Christ’s cry of abandonment on the cross was not a loss of faith.
For the first time Jesus was experiencing conscious absence of the Father’s answer to prayer, but in that absence he is not devoid of God’s Word.
Even in that awful place of separation and abandonment he can call on God’s voice to bring consolation.
Jesus cries out and claims words of Scripture from Psalm 22, and this word from God is enough.

Joel Beeke provides a short meditation on this theme in piece reproduced from Table Talk magazine.

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46, KJV).

It is noon, and Jesus has been on the cross for three pain-filled hours. Suddenly, darkness falls on Calvary and “over all the land” (v. 45). By a miraculous act of Almighty God, midday becomes midnight.
This supernatural darkness is a symbol of God’s judgment on sin. The physical darkness signals a deeper and more fearsome darkness.
The great High Priest enters Golgotha’s Holy of Holies without friends or enemies. The Son of God is alone on the cross for three final hours, enduring what defies our imagination. Experiencing the full brunt of His Father’s wrath, Jesus cannot stay silent. He cries out: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
This phrase represents the nadir, the lowest point, of Jesus’ sufferings. Here Jesus descends into the essence of hell, the most extreme suffering ever experienced. It is a time so compacted, so infinite, so horrendous as to be incomprehensible and, seemingly, unsustainable.
Jesus’ cry does not in any way diminish His deity. Jesus does not cease being God before, during, or after this. Jesus’ cry does not divide His human nature from His divine person or destroy the Trinity. Nor does it detach Him from the Holy Spirit. The Son lacks the comforts of the Spirit, but He does not lose the holiness of the Spirit. And finally, it does not cause Him to disavow His mission. Both the Father and Son knew from all eternity that Jesus would become the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world (Acts 15:18). It is unthinkable that the Son of God might question what is happening or be perplexed when His Father’s loving presence departs.
Jesus is expressing the agony of unanswered supplication (Ps. 22:1–2). Unanswered, Jesus feels forgotten of God. He is also expressing the agony of unbearable stress. It is the kind of “roaring” mentioned in Psalm 22: the roar of desperate agony without rebellion. It is the hellish cry uttered when the undiluted wrath of God overwhelms the soul. It is heart-piercing, heaven-piercing, and hell-piercing. Further, Jesus is expressing the agony of unmitigated sin. All the sins of the elect, and the hell that they deserve for eternity, are laid upon Him. And Jesus is expressing the agony of unassisted solitariness. In His hour of greatest need comes a pain unlike anything the Son has ever experienced: His Father’s abandonment. When Jesus most needs encouragement, no voice cries from heaven, “This is my beloved Son.” No angel is sent to strengthen Him; no “well done, thou good and faithful servant” resounds in His ears. The women who supported Him are silent. The disciples, cowardly and terrified, have fled. Feeling disowned by all, Jesus endures the way of suffering alone, deserted, and forsaken in utter darkness. Every detail of this horrific abandonment declares the heinous character of our sins!
But why would God bruise His own Son (Isa. 53:10)? The Father is not capricious, malicious, or being merely didactic. The real purpose is penal; it is the just punishment for the sin of Christ’s people. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Christ was made sin for us, dear believers. Among all the mysteries of salvation, this little word “for” exceeds all. This small word illuminates our darkness and unites Jesus Christ with sinners. Christ was acting on behalf of His people as their representative and for their benefit.
With Jesus as our substitute, God’s wrath is satisfied and God can justify those who believe in Jesus (Rom. 3:26). Christ’s penal suffering, therefore, is vicarious — He suffered on our behalf. He did not simply share our forsakenness, but He saved us from it. He endured it for us, not with us. You are immune to condemnation (Rom. 8:1) and to God’s anathema (Gal. 3:13) because Christ bore it for you in that outer darkness. Golgotha secured our immunity, not mere sympathy.
This explains the hours of darkness and the roar of dereliction. God’s people experience just a taste of this when they are brought by the Holy Spirit before the Judge of heaven and earth, only to experience that they are not consumed for Christ’s sake. They come out of darkness, confessing, “Because Immanuel has descended into the lowest hell for us, God is with us in the darkness, under the darkness, through the darkness — and we are not consumed!”
How stupendous is the love of God! Indeed, our hearts so overflow with love that we respond, “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).


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Call Me Barabbas

Credit where it’s due: preaching Matthew 27: 15-26 at MGPC this morning, and this song always echoes in my head, as it does most Good Fridays.

Call Me Barabbas – Nathan Tasker

“Crucify Him!” they shouted so loud
The angry death wish from the rabble crowd
“We want Barabbas set free”.

The choice had been made the hands had been washed
The death of one man is all his freedom cost
But I can’t help thinking Barabbas is me
And Jesus set me free

So call me Barabbas ’cause that’s who I am
All I deserve has been given to Him
The guilty set free, the innocent must die
A lifetime of sin is all that I know
I should’ve been killed but Jesus let me go
And I can’t forget the death of that Man
It set free Barabbas, and that’s who I am

He is risen the disciples did say
ascended to heaven the price has been paid
the temple curtain now lays in two

The pathway to life is now paved by His blood
protected on both sides by the Father’s love
He wants to love me and you
because of nothing we do

So call me Barabbas ’cause that’s who I am
All I deserve has been given to Him
The guilty set free, the innocent must die
A lifetime of sin is all that I know
I should’ve been killed but Jesus let me go
And I can’t forget the death of that Man
It set free Barabbas, and that’s who I am

and I can’t forget
the look in His eyes as I passed by free
Jesus set me free, now I’m free

So call me forgiven ’cause that’s who I am
all I deserve has been given to Him
the guilty set free the innocent must die
a lifetime of love is all that I know
I should’ve been killed by Jesus let me go

and I can’t forget the death of that Man
it set free Barabbas and that’s who I am.

Copyright Nathan Tasker
From the album ‘life… this side of heaven.’