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Friday, March 29, 2013

Thoughts on Good Friday, Day 39, Lent 2013

Today's Lenten reading started in 1 Timothy and ended in James. Good Friday has narrowed my focus. There's this bloody passage in Hebrews 9:11-15
Icon of the Crucifixion, 16th century, by Theo...
Icon of the Crucifixion, 16th century, by Theophanes the Cretan (Stavronikita Monastery, Mount Athos) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. 13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 15 That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
I attended a worship service this afternoon and used the hymnal as a guide for meditation. One hymn, by William Cowper in the 1700's, stands out to me in light of this passage.

1. There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
 and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
 and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
 2. The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
 and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.
 Wash all my sins away, wash all my sins away;
 and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.
 3. Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood shall never lose its power
 till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
 Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
 till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
 4. E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream thy flowing wounds supply,
 redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
 And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
 redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
 5. Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I'll sing thy power to save,
 when this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
 Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
 when this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.



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