Good Friday Meditation

Can anyone be found who would prefer wasting away in pain dying limb by limb, or letting out his life drop by drop, rather than expiring once for all? Can any man be found willing to be fastened to the accursed tree, long sickly, already deformed, swelling with ugly weals on shoulders and chest, and drawing the breath of life amid long-drawn-out agony? He would have many excuses for dying even before mounting the cross.

Seneca, Epistle to Lucius

[T]he executioner, the veiling of the head and the very word “cross” should be far removed not only from the person of a Roman citizen but his thoughts, his eyes and his ears. For it is not only the actual occurrence of these things but the very mention of them, that is unworthy of a Roman citizen and a free man.

Cicero, Pro Rabirio Perduellionis Reo

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God… For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24, 18

Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:6-8

Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

The Promised Holy Spirit – arrived!

This post is not meant to be a New Testament overview of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Instead, it’s a follow-up to my recent The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

When the Holy Spirit returned after 400 years of silence, He did not come quietly. He bursts onto the scene. The Spirit overshadows Mary so she conceives a child (Luke 1:35). John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), his mother (1:41) and father (1:67) were all filled with the Holy Spirit and both parents prophesied as a result. The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon in the temple (2:25). When John began his ministry, he did so speaking of the one who would baptise with the Holy Spirit (3:16), and testifying of the one on whom the Spirit descended (John 1:32f).

The Holy Spirit’s activity in the early chapters of the gospels was remarkable. For the first time the Holy Spirit was described as having filled a person. For the first time we are told explicitly that He visited women. But it was after all only two women, and only half a dozen people in all – and all of them Jews. Remarkable and unexpected as it was, this was not a pouring out on all people. The promises in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Joel were not yet fulfilled.
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Articles in this series:

  1. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
  2. The Promised Holy Spirit – arrived! <-- This article

That’s my King! (S M Lockridge) – free video

If you’re not already familiar with S M Lockridge’s My King – then you should be! He simply speaks for seven minutes about Jesus Christ, but it’s impossible not to listen without responding in heartfelt praise.

Last summer I put together a video: a combination of Lockeridge’s words, with some images that I hope will add to the power of his message. I’ve been encouraged to share the video – so have uploaded it here. If you’re looking for a video to inspire you in your Christian faith, or a video to show before the sermon in a Sunday service in church, or just something to remind you how God is worthy of our praise, then this might be just the thing.

If you want to play the video offline, you can download it from Vimeo.

Please note that there are about eight seconds of blank video at the beginning and end. If you’re showing the video to a large group, it helps you make sure everything is ready before it actually starts.

A note about copyright: I’ve tried to establish the copyright status of the audio, but have been unable to trace the original copyright holder. Bearing that in mind, I am happy for anyone to freely distribute the video itself, though you may not make a charge for it. I will of course honour the original copyright holder’s wishes should they contact me.