"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
~1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Today we rejoice in the greatest gift ever given to man: Salvation.
Today we triumph in Christ knowing that the chains of death and sin no longer bind us.
Let us praise and worship the Lord who loves us with a everlasting last and laid down His life so that we may live!!! What amazing love!
I wrote a poem on the Crucifixion a few years ago. My friend, Grace M. happened to read it and passed it on to her pastor who had her read it for their church. Grace did a beautiful job on her reading! In fact, it was so good, I don't think I could have done much of a better job myself! ;) I was so blessed by her reading and so glad that I got to experience it through video. :)
Thank you, Grace!
by Bethany Strang
“Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” The hateful screams began to grow.
“This man has blasphemed God! To the cross He will go.”
As the ranting, raving crowd began to pull apart,
I saw a terrible scene that gripped my very heart.
There a man stood quietly with head bowed to the ground.
I saw Him whipped and beaten, but heard Him make no sound.
Then came soldiers, and with a royal robe they clothed Him.
To add to this they brought a crown with thorns, sharp and thin.
I gasped as I watched the soldiers press it in His head.
The thorns pierced in deeper and the blood poured out dark red.
The soldiers laughed and mocked Him, “No!” Cried I. “How could you?”
But with wretched glee they screamed, “Hail! King of the Jews!”
They spit into His loving face. They ripped His beard completely out.
But the crowd scoffed and said, “So this is what that Jesus is all about.”
The Roman soldiers blindfolded Him and began to smack His face.
Calling out so loudly, “Who was it that hit you in the face?”
But Jesus made no outcry, instead He was silent.
I took this all in with wonder, still not knowing quite what it meant.
“Stand up you wicked prisoner!” The soldier began to rave.
“To the cross you are going, as the worst of these three knaves.”
Jesus stood in agony, but stumbled to the ground.
The soldier then just beat Him, with jeering crowd around.
“You Jew, get up! You’re the Messiah, aren’t you?”
“Don’t stumble on the ground, you have a cross to go to.”
But now my heart was breaking and the tears began to flow.
How long I had been standing there, I simply did not know.
“How can you be so wickedly cruel to one poor man as that?”
I cried out to the Roman soldiers, weeping as I sat.
One turned around, muscular and tall.
He looked at me and said, “He’s a criminal, that’s all.
A criminal condemned to die,
And now His death is drawing nigh.”
The soldier turned and walked away,
Kicking Jesus where He lay.
“Move! Stand up now. On your feet!”
Jesus stood, but my gaze did He meet.
I froze. Everything around disappearing away.
That solid gaze just seemed to say,
“I’m doing this because I love you, to save you from your sins,
So that in the Lamb’s book of life, your name will be written in.
But not just for you,
It’s for the soldiers and crowd too.”
“The soldiers and the crowd?” I thought.
“They hate Him! Do they not?”
“Of course they hate Him,” I angrily spat out.
Looking at the twisted faces and sneering eyes all about.
But then I saw the soldiers, and with them a cross of wood.
Dragging it over to Jesus, they did with it what they would.
The cross they places upon His back.
Even though the strength He lacked.
Stop! The burden is too much for Him!
But no, what did it matter to them?
For the moment the cross was in place,
To Golgotha did they set their face.
But while they were walking, Jesus began to slow.
Until in agony He stopped. Not one more step could He go.
“He can not go on,” a man with sympathy said.
“He’s too weak, too wounded. Why, He’s almost half-dead.”
“Ha! Scoffed a soldier. “Then you take His cross of doom!
Perhaps when He’s dead and buried, He’ll thank you from His tomb.”
The man whose name was Simon, walked over to where Jesus lay.
He gently took the cross, to put on his own shoulders right away.
But all too soon we were there, at the place of Calvary.
The place to kill this innocent Man—it’s murder! Oh, don’t you see?
Now in horror did I watch this scene unfold before my eyes.
Two thieves and Jesus are led forward to their cross where it lies.
But first Jesus is stripped from His clothes to His dishonor and shame.
Then the Roman soldiers turned to the guilty thieves and did just the same.
So in humiliation on their crosses where they laid,
But to Jesus, the innocent, was there given no aid.
And now in horror I see a soldier with a hammer and some nails,
Fastening Jesus’ hands and feet to that cross. My heart begins to wail.
Again and again the hammer on the nail did pound.
Echoing my heartbeat as it vibrated through the ground.
I watched as Jesus who was silent, who never yelled out a jeer,
Bear this awful sentence, as through His body, pain did sear.
The crosses were raised up high for all who stood to see.
The guiltless One made guilty. How could this be?
Nevertheless they mocked Him more and more,
Laughing at His brokenness so torn and sore.
But in His pain-filled eyes are love and forgiveness unwavering.
Taking sin upon His sinless self, oh what a marvelous thing.
Then suddenly Jesus cried out, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”
He hung, bleeding and broken and mocked, humiliated on that tree.
Then Jesus cried, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Guilt pricked my heart, as His convicting eyes seemed to bore me through.
Immediately in wild realization, away did I flee.
Knowing I had crucified Him. Yes, it was me.
For because of my sin,
I had whipped Him.
Crushed the thorns into His head. Spit into His loving face.
Beat Him, mocked Him. Nailed His hands and feet into place.
Suddenly in wild terror I began to run away.
Not knowing what to do, just wishing I hadn’t seen this day.
But as I turned away, my eye caught that terrible scene.
And I remembered Jesus’ gaze, what it said and what it means.
Then abruptly I turned around and walked back to that cross.
Kneeling before Jesus Christ, whose life my sin did cost.
I whispered, “Father, I’m sorry. Save me from my filthy sin.”
Jesus looked at me and said, “My blood has paid your price. Child, you’re forgiven.”
“It is finished!” He cried.
His head fell forward and He died.
On this day, God poured out His wrath on His only Son.
Christ paid our price with His blood. It’s finished. It’s done.
The Sinless became sin for us and God, in his holiness, turned away.
His death will give us life. Through Him we can be saved.
Death will not have dominion over me! I’m set free from my sin!
I am washed clean in His blood. I am forgiven.
I slowly rose in thankfulness, for the price that He had paid.
I couldn’t fathom His love. I’m so baffled, so amazed.
But now I look to you, my friend, are your sins washed away?
If not, confess them to Jesus, for He alone is the way.
So the plan was to have One Accord play at a benefit concert in lower WA one evening and then drive to upper WA that night, spend the nigh there, and then attend a friend's wedding the next day.
And everything was set in motion: we had practiced and prepared our set, finalized details, booked a hotel, etc. But the afternoon before we were going to leave, I suddenly felt like I might be coming down with a cold. Well, no big deal... the show must go on and I would have to sing and push through with a minor sore throat. My parents ran some errands while the rest of us starting preparing everything for the concert and trip. Next thing I knew, I felt very tired. In fact, I was so exhausted I decided I should take a nap (and that is rare--I just don't take naps). After sleeping for about an hour, I got up and decided I should start making dinner, although I didn't feel that great and my throat was terribly sore. So I'm standing there getting the taco meat ready and all of a sudden... I am starting to pass out. I had the common sense to turn the stove down and get out of the kitchen fast enough to keep myself from actually fainting, but it was pretty close! At this point my siblings have the expressions of question marks on their faces and I'm heading back to bed. For good.
Well, here I am sick in bed and we are suppose to be playing a concert the next evening and be at my special friend's wedding the next day. My head was spinning as I tried to figure out a plan B. At the moment, I didn't know what I was sick with, so if I couldn't stand up the next evening, someone would have to cover for me at the concert... and the wedding... the wedding?! Oh, I would be sooo disappointed if my family couldn't make it to the wedding just because I was sick!
Things were looking pretty bleak.
My parents get home and discussed what we were to do next. Thankfully we were able to get to Urgent Care in the nick of time before they closed and I was able to get on antibiotics. (I was treated for Strep Throat, but apparently it wasn't exactly that. Some other weird throat bacteria.)
After much prayer, I woke up the next morning feeling a little better. At least I was well enough to carry on with the plans! To make a long story short, the Lord had His of blessing on us the entire time... despite my burning throat, I was able to sing and make it through the concert and even attend the wedding the next day! Praise the Lord! (Yes, after those two days of pushing my voice, I did lose it for the next few days.)
Oh, and there is a perk about being sick while on the road: no one wants to sit by you because you're contagious, so you get the whole back bench in the van all to yourself. Stretch out on that (well, it probably depends on your size... but for me it works great!) and you'll be asleep with no cramps or craned necks! And when you get to the hotel room, you'll be quarantined to a sectioned off room with a huge queen-sized bed just for you! Wow. That bed was so big I was kinda lost in it.
But just so you know, it really fun to be sick on the road, so try to stay healthy.
The Scottish Laddie!
Little siblings. :)
One Accord and their little sister, Bethany.
If you want to watch the videos from the concert, click here.
Madi and her dad.
Down the aisle!
The wedding party.
Madi and David.
And Mr. and Mrs. H!
These little ones were having some fun!
Judah's pose here cracks me up. ;)
A very happy and lovely couple.
Yes. I photobombed their wedding!
Group picture with the bride and groom!
Eden and Madi's sister, Grace. She is so cute!
Just having some fun...!
(Thanks to Evan S. for taking some of the wedding pictures!)
I was so blessed to be able to attend their wedding! Madi is a very dear friend and it has been exciting watching her story unfold. May the Lord richly bless them both as they seek to follow and glorify Him through their lives!
Heading home after a full, blessed, and wonderful weekend! Praise the Lord!
And kudos to my dad for driving and making this all happen. :)
Our mixed quartet, One Accord, was blessed to have the opportunity to play a set at a benefit concert for Shepherd's Heart Ministry. It was a whirlwind of insanity leading up to the concert--I'll cover that in my picture post on it--but the Lord faithfully saw us through all the bumps! All the glory goes to Him!
We did something special at this concert: Daddy joined us on the Cajon for two numbers and Judah joined us on the Bodhran!
Enjoy the videos and check back for the full post. :)
A big Thank You to Evan S. for filming for us, and Noah C. for getting the footage on the last one!