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Reflections on the events of Holy Week -- Good Friday and Easter to be specific

Greetings All,

     Today I simply send you seven different reflections on the events of Holy Week -- Good Friday and Easter to be specific.  They are all insightful. I trust you will find food in each one to uplift and nourish your soul.  Enjoy.

          "I am wholly deserving of all the consequences that I will in fact never receive, simply because God unashamedly stepped in front of me on the cross, unflinchingly spread His arms so as to completely shield me from the retribution that was mine to bear, and repeatedly took the blows. And I stand entirely unwounded, utterly lost in the fact that the while His body was pummeled and bloodied to death by that which was meant for me and me alone, I have not a scratch."
Craig D. Lounsbrough,  An Intimate Collision
       "Despite our earnest efforts, we couldn't climb all the way up to God. So what did God do? In an amazing act of condescension, on Good Friday, God climbed down to us, became one with us. The story of divine condescension begins on Christmas and ends on Good Friday. We thought, if there is to be business between us and God, we must somehow get up to God. Then God came down, down to the level of the cross, all the way down to the depths of hell. He who knew not sin took on our sin so that we might be free of it... “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” he asked his disciples, before his way up Golgotha. Our answer is an obvious, “No!” His cup is not only the cup of crucifixion and death, it is the bloody, bloody cup that one must drink if one is going to get mixed up with us. Any God who would wander into the human condition, any God who has this thirst to pursue us, had better not be too put off by pain, for that's the way we tend to treat our saviors. Any God who tries to love us had better be ready to die for it. As Chesterton writes, “Any man who preaches real love is bound to beget hate … Real love has always ended in bloodshed."
William Willimon, Thank God It's Friday: Encountering the Seven Last Words from the Cross
     "Salvation was bought not by Jesus' fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him."
A. W. Tozer, Preparing For Jesus Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope

     "The gifts of Jesus are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn't the end. Jesus didn't escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again." 
Steven James, The Story
     “Jesus' resurrection is the beginning of God's new project, not to snatch people away from earth to heaven, but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord's Prayer is about.” 
N. T. Wright,  Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church
"Easter is…
  Joining in a birdsong,
  Eyeing an early sunrise,
  Smelling yellow daffodils,
  Unbolting windows and doors,
  Skipping through meadows,
  Cuddling newborns,
  Hoping, believing,
  Reviving spent life,
  Inhaling fresh air,
  Sprinkling seeds along furrows,
  Tracking in the mud.
  Easter is the soul’s first taste of spring."
Richelle E. Goodrich,  Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts and a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year
"Happy Easter to you, my friend!
  This day’s light shall have no end.
  For Christ did rise in the golden morn
  And by His life we are reborn."
Paul F. Kortapeter,  Holly Pond Hill: A Child's Book of Easter.
Blessings on your week,  Pastor Jeff