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Friday, April 10, 2009
Good Friday

Communion Table
"Do This In Remembrance Of Me"

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"Love So Amazing, So Divine"

"Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love" (John 13:1).

Last night we observed Maundy Thursday and followed Christ's example in washing one another's feet.  Then we gathered around the Lord's Table obeying His command from the night He was betrayed to partake of Communion. This observance was directed by God to be a memorial as a lasting ordinance of our redemption and, believers in the last 2,000 years, have continued to "do this in remembrance of Me", obeying these solemn words of our Lord.

A tiny phrase from the daily text blesses us greatly. Jesus Christ demonstrated "the full extent of His love."  The Amplified Bible further elaborates on this portion: "And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree."

As I consider this I wonder if it refers to what He did immediately following this (washed their feet) or what He did in the next several hours (dying on the cross for sins). I'm inclined to understand that John is using this as an introductory statement to the entire period of our Lord's intense suffering and sacrificial death.

Carving of Christ on Cross

The IVP commentary expounds on this passage: "Love is the laying down of one's life, and therefore to love completely means to love to the end of one's life. The love that has been evident throughout continues right up to the end. At the end, in the crucifixion, we will see the ultimate revelation of that love, that is, its full extent."

On this Good Friday during Passion Week we especially remember and commemorate what God has done for us in demonstrating the full extent of His love in His death on the Cross of Calvary:

  • We remember His supreme sacrifice for us, as "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). 
  • We remember His great love for us, as "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)
  • We remember His redemption plan for us, as He "gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:14).
  • We remember His provision for us, as we recall that "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me.  You willingly became the sacrificial Lamb Whose substitutionary death freed me from the heavy shackles of sin, degradation, and eternal damnation.  My response to Your act of mercy and grace toward me is that I place my faith in You and recognize that Your love; so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.  Amen.

The Ultimate Extended TableBrooksyne's note: I would add one further thought to the commentary in our message today. We see the full extent of God's love in sacrificing His Son, Jesus, in His death as the Son of Man.  He gave His all, physically!  But the absolute fullest extent of God's love is yet to be celebrated  when we gather at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb in heaven. Jesus told the disciples at the last supper, "I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom" (Mt. 26:29).  Jesus said this to His disciples and His message is for all who believe; that He is waiting for that Supreme Wedding Feast when we are joined with Him in heaven to partake again of this fruit of the vine.  He has refrained, all these years, from His rightful privilege of enjoying the fruit of the vine that He created since that eventful last supper.  Can you imagine the Love Feast that will be celebrated on that appointed day where He invites all His followers to sit at the Master's Table!

Further study on John 13

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.

This week we will share links to songs dealing with the Cross and Christ's redemtive work and will add to them through the week with the most recent at the top.

"When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"  Video

"Hallelujah, What A Savior"  

"Crown Him With Many Crowns"

"O Sacred Head Now Wounded"
 Video  a beautiful Fernando Ortega version.

"How Deep The Father's Love For Us"
 Audio  Video

"Your Grace Still Amazes Me"  Video 

"It's Still The Cross"
 Audio  Video  See here for lyrics. (This is the song referred to in Monday's message.)

"The Wonderful Cross"  Video  We sang this song in our church service on Sunday.

Communion TableThe photo of our Lord on the cross in today's message is actually a wood carving made by Tom Jenkins, a professional woodcarver, whom I know only from this online writing ministry going back many years. Considering the theme of this week's messages he sent me the photo of an actual carving he just made that is 26x40 inches.

Tom has a wonderful testimony of deliverance and shares it in a written insert with each order. He has given me permission to share it with Daily Encouragement readers:  

"For thirty years I was a drunk; an intelligent drunk.

I always worked and was good at my job, but I drank every day; from the time that I got off work until I went to bed and on the weekends, from the time I got up until I passed out.

I admired good drinkers and only hung out with the drinkers.  I wouldn't go anywhere that I couldn't drink.

It's not as uncommon as you might think; no matter where I went I was able to find people just like me.  It was a way of life and I liked it.
The only problem was I couldn't do anything least, not well.

I loved woodcarving but could only do it for a few hours at a time.  I knew myself well enough to know that I could never do it for a living. It would get in the way of my drinking.

My wife started going to church and she chose to attend a church 60 miles away in Phoenix.  She always asked me if I wanted to go but never pushed.  I eventually gave in so she packed me a 6-pack; three beers on the way to church and three beers for the ride home; a pretty good deal for me.

I was content and my wife was glad that I was going to church.  But then after several months of this on Super Bowl Sunday in 1997, half way to Phoenix I started to cry.  I told my wife that I had to be prayed for, that I had to quit drinking.

I was prayed for and I confessed my sins to Jesus.

That was the last day that I drink any alcohol.  I had no side affects; no shakes, no bad dreams, no sleepless nights and no desire to drink. Jesus took it all away and I am free today.

That's why I'm able to be here.

My carvings are signed "T&J" for Tom and Jesus because I couldn't be doing this without Jesus."

Tom's website.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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