Beautiful, Scandalous Night

I’ve had this hauntingly, beautiful song on my mind ever since we sang it last week during our Good Friday service at Kenwood Baptist Church. There are several versions available, but my favorite one is by Smalltown Poets.

Beautiful, Scandalous Night
by Derald Daugherty and Steve Hindalong

Verse 1
Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Verse 2
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

Chorus
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

Verse 3
On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior’s side

Chorus
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

Verse 4
Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Chorus
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

He Is Not Here, For He Has Risen

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”

—Matthew 28:1-7, ESV

Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed

Verse 1
How can it be, the One who died,
Has borne our sin through sacrifice
To conquer every sting of death?
Sing, sing hallelujah.
For joy awakes as dawning light
When Christ’s disciples lift their eyes.
Alive He stands, their Friend and King;
Christ, Christ He is risen.

Chorus
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
Oh, sing hallelujah.
Join the chorus, sing with the redeemed;
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.

Verse 2
Where doubt and darkness once had been,
They saw Him and their hearts believed.
But blessed are those who have not seen,
Yet, sing hallelujah.
Once bound by fear now bold in faith,
They preached the truth and power of grace.
And pouring out their lives they gained
Life, life everlasting.

Verse 3
The power that raised Him from the grave
Now works in us to powerfully save.
He frees our hearts to live His grace;
Go tell of His goodness.

Bridge
He’s alive, He’s alive!
Heaven’s gates are opened wide.
He’s alive, He’s alive!
Now in heaven glorified.

—Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Ed Cash
©2012 Gettymusic and Alletrop Music

Via: Bob Kauflin

A Spike-Torn Hand Twitched

Part of the curse Jesus would bear for us on Golgotha was the taunting and testing by God’s enemies. As he drowned in his own blood, the spectators yelled words quite similar to those of Satan in the desert: “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe” (Mark 15:32). But he didn’t jump down. He didn’t ascend to the skies. He just writhed there. And, after it all, the bloated corpse of Jesus hit the ground as he was pulled off the stake, spattering warm blood and water on the faces of the crowd.

That night the religious leaders probably read Deuteronomy 21 to their families, warning them about the curse of God on those who are “hanged on a tree.” Fathers probably told their sons, “Watch out that you don’t ever wind up like him.” Those Roman soldiers probably went home and washed the blood of Jesus from under their fingernails and played with their children in front of the fire before dozing off. This was just one more insurrectionist they had pulled off a cross, one in a line of them dotting the roadside. And this one (what was his name? Joshua?) was just decaying meat now, no threat to the empire at all.

That corpse of Jesus just lay there in the silences of that cave. By all appearances it had been tested and tried, and found wanting. If you’d been there to pull open his bruised eyelids, matted together with mottled blood, you would have looked into blank holes. If you’d lifted his arm, you would have felt no resistance. You would have heard only the thud as it hit the table when you let it go. You might have walked away from that morbid scene muttering to yourself, “The wages of sin is death.”

But sometime before dawn on a Sunday morning, a spike-torn hand twitched. A blood-crusted eyelid opened. The breath of God came blowing into that cave, and a new creation flashed into reality…

—Russell Moore
Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ

Via: Tony Reinke

Crucifixion and Resurrection

O LORD,
I marvel that thou shouldst become incarnate,
    be crucified, dead, and buried.
The sepulchre calls forth my adoring wonder,
    for it is empty and thou art risen;
    the four-fold gospel attests it,
    the living witnesses prove it,
    my heart’s experience knows it.
Give me to die with thee that I may rise to new life,
    for I wish to be as dead and buried
        to sin, to selfishness, to the world;
    that I may might not hear the voice of the charmer,
        and might be delivered from his lusts.
O Lord, there is much ill about me — crucify it,
            much flesh within me — mortify it.
Purge me from selfishness, the fear of man, the love of approbation,
            the shame of being thought old-fashioned,
            the desire to be cultivated or modern.
Let me reckon my old life dead because of crucifixion,
    and never feed it as a living thing.
Grant me to stand with my dying Saviour,
        to be content to be rejected,
        to be willing to take up unpopular truths,
            and to hold fast despised teachings until death.
Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained.
Never let me wander from the path of obedience to thy will.
Strengthen me for the battles ahead.
Give me courage for all the trials, and grace for all the joys,
Help me to be a holy, happy person,
    free from every wrong desire,
            from everything contrary to thy mind.
Grant me more and more of the resurrection life:
    may it rule me,
    may I walk in power, and be strengthened through its influence.

The Valley of Vision
A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions

“It Is I” Says the Christ

He who hung the earth is hanging.
He who fixed the heavens in place has been fixed in place.
He who laid the foundations of the universe has been laid on a tree.
The master has been profaned.
God has been murdered.

But He rose up from the dead
and mounted up to the heights of heaven.

When the Lord hath clothed Himself with humanity,
and had suffered for the sake of the sufferer,
and had been bound for the sake of the imprisoned,
and had been judged for the sake of the condemned,
and had been buried for the sake of the one who had been buried,

He rose up from the dead,
and cried with a loud voice,
“Who is it that contends with me?
Let him stand in opposition to me.
I set the condemned man free;
I gave the dead man life;
I raised up one who had been entombed.
Who is my opponent?
I am the Christ
I am the one who destroyed death,
and triumphed over the enemy,
and trampled Hades underfoot,
and bound the strong one,
and carried off humanity
to the heights of heaven.”

“It is I,” says the Christ.

—Melito of Sardis
Easter sermon (ca. A.D. 195)

Via: Trevin Wax

Risen Indeed

I love the internet. After bouncing from site to site following a series of hyperlinks I stumbled upon this beautiful Easter hymn written and performed by Andrew Peterson, one of my favorite artists. If you have a few minutes to spare do yourself a favor and listen to this recording of Andrew performing this song live.

As with most songs written by Andrew Peterson, the beautiful melody and lyrics combine to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is indeed a “feast for the soul” and poetic expression of praise at its finest.

And so the winter dies with a blast of icy wind
Like a mournful cry—it’s giving up the ghost again
Another sheet of snow melts away to gold and green
Just look at Peter go, he’s racing to the tomb to see

Where has my Jesus gone?
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

And now the flowers bloom like a song of freedom
Behold the earth is new, if only for the season
And so the seed that died for you becomes a seedling
Just put your hand into the wound that bought your healing

And let your heart believe
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

And the rain will fall on the furrow
It immerses the earth in sorrow
Mary, the sun will rise again
Mary, the sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen
Daughter, listen
He speaks your name

Father Abraham could not have dreamed of this
Could never understand the end of all those promises
How all the pieces fit, every star and grain of sand
Is safely hid in Jesus’ hand

Let every tongue confess
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

Mary, the sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen
Daughter, listen, he speaks your name.

—Andrew Peterson
Risen Indeed

Let every tongue confess “He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed!”

Via: The Rabbit Room

The Risen Lamb

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

—Charitie Lees Smith
Before the Throne of God Above