Good Shepherd; Lamb of God

jesus_shepherdIs Jesus the sheep or the shepherd?

Just about every animal has some unique feature that allows it to defend itself from predators. Some have incredible speed, such as deer, while others have sharp claws, powerful muscles or rows of gleaming teeth. Some animals camouflage themselves into the background while the purpose of some camouflage, like that of zebra, make it difficult to distinguish individuals from the group. Even the slow, ungraceful skunk has a very potent defense mechanism. Just about every animal has something, it seems, except sheep. It’s almost as if God intended them to be food for other animals. Sheep are very nearsighted and have to be led to food and water. They cannot drink fast moving water and can actually drown trying. They have to be led to food, led to shelter, and protected from every type of danger. The Bible uses sheep of all things to represent people. Continue reading

In Christ Alone

First published in 2001, In Christ Alone has become one of the favorite hymns of all time by several metrics. In Christ Alone is considered a credal hymn expressing faith in the crucified and risen savior.

The song has been recorded and covered many times. The first version below features Adrienne Liesching and Geoff Moore. (I was a big Geoff Moore and the Distance fan back in college but that’s not important right now.) This video displays the brilliant lyrics for your consideration. The second video is a live performance by Keith and Kristyn Getty. Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend are the original co-authors.

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UPDATE: It has come to my attention this my second post by this title. This post from 2009 is all about the lyrics with a link to the video. All four verses appear in their entirety with my commentary added afterward.

Happy Monday

Screenshot 2016-03-20 at 8.11.16 PM

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. This is Holy Week/ Passion Week culminating in Resurrection Sunday, more commonly known as Easter. We are doing today what we always do on Monday, offering scriptures, quotes, pictures and comics to help you get the week off on the good foot. Come back the other days this week for devotions, lessons and music videos as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection. (For more on the meaning of God Save Us, follow this link to Worshiplife.com) Continue reading

Holy Week

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Resurrection Sunday (also known as Easter). I have been blogging since 2008 and have posted many times on the events of Holy Week. On the one hand I don’t wish to keep writing and posted material that is already here. On the other hand there are constantly new friends discovering The Master’s Table and following that have not read those previous posts. And we are talking about the greatest story ever told; it is central to our identity as Christians and never gets old. Continue reading

Satisfying the Crowd

Jesus before PilateAnd Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Mark 15:14-15

Pilate did not want to kill Jesus. Continue reading

Preaching Easter

Jesus, resurrectionEaster is coming up. The last Sunday in March (there are five this year) is Palm Sunday and the first Sunday in April is Easter. The dates are March 29th and April 5th. Those of you that observed Ash Wednesday and/or the season of Lent are aware of these dates already, as well as anyone planning church activities and worship services. And it is those individuals – pastors, preachers, minsters and directors of music, all worship leaders – that I wish to address.

I spent several years in a ministry that included a daily chapel service. Not only did we observe Palm Sunday and Easter but we had the opportunity to celebrate each day of Holy Week. We could talk about the Triumphal Entry on Sunday and focus on the different aspects of Jesus’ final teachings with the Apostles each day that week. We could give a full day to the Last Supper, another to the arrest and false trial, and spend Good Friday detailing the events of the crucifixion. With all of that said and done the focus of Easter Sunday was entirely on celebrating the resurrection. Continue reading

Resurrection Sunday

Jesus, resurrection

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24 ESV)

Continue reading