A Passion Week Message

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By Scott Stake

I am so grateful for Passion Week! It truly is a special time as we think, feel, and meditate on Jesus' death and resurrection and His amazing display of love for you and me. But if I’m honest with you, one of the main reasons why I’m grateful for this week is because I’m prone to forget. Like the Israelites, I often forget who God is and endeavor to live based on my own merit and strength. I forget how magnificent are the resources I have in Christ, how complete His provision is, and how precious it is that He’s always near. I forget that I have a Savior who loves me and a Father who adopted me. And I forget that all my sin has been forgiven, all my debt has been paid, and all my shame has been removed.

How about you? Do you sometimes get gospel amnesia? To help me remember, one of the things I enjoy doing during Passion Week is to read different works about the cross of Christ. This year the hymn, "Before the Throne of God Above" has particularly grabbed my heart. So, as I share some of the lines with you, I'd like to invite all of us to set aside time to behold, run to, and invite others to the cross this special week!

Behold Him there the risen Lamb, My perfect spotless righteousness…One with Himself I cannot die. My soul is purchased by His blood.

Behold Jesus. Meditate on His beauty. Ponder the lamb that was slain. See Him purchase our freedom and our redemption with His blood. What love, what grace, what perfection!

When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, Upward I look and see Him there Who made an end of all my sin.

Run to Jesus. No fear, no doubts. When I sin, He invites me in. No failure is too great and no transgression is too big to keep me from my precious Savior. He made an end of all my sin, and I am always welcomed into the presence of God. When I’m tempted to despair, I can flee to Christ who gives me grace & mercy in my time of need.

My name is graven on His hands, My name is written on His heart. I know that while in heav’n He stands, No tongue can bid me thence depart.

Invite others to Jesus. Jesus died for me, but there are others whose names are written on Jesus’ hands and heart. We are called to share this good news with our neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends. Invite them to our worship services this weekend to hear of our Lord’s great love and His commitment to help and heal the brokenhearted.

This week is also a great opportunity to invite your children to think on who Jesus is and what He’s done for them. Walking through the devotional our amazing 4Oaks Kid staff put together is a great place to start. In addition, I encourage you to read some helpful instructions from Rob Pifer on how to prepare your children for the Lord’s Supper on Friday night.

Four Oaks, I pray that this week we would behold, run to, and invite others to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!