This weekend, we focused on John 19:6-37, examining the cross. Joe shared about its meaning from several perspectives, and closed with a time to respond to what Jesus accomplished for us. We moved our on-stage cross to down stage center to help emphasize our focus for the weekend, and nearly every aspect of our services pointed to it. I am happy with how well everything tied together this weekend. Together, it served as a great reminder of what Jesus did on our behalf. He is so good to us! Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "Lamb of God" (Ab) [original] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] "Nothing But The Blood" (G) [Robert Lowry] Prayer Message - John 19:6-37 - "The Cross" [Joe Hishmeh] Response Time "'The Wonderful Cross" (E) [Isaac Watts, w/ add. chorus by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves] Offering/Video/Announcements Dismissal
"Lamb Of God" - We opened our preparation time with this song, since we were focusing on the cross this weekend. When I wrote this song, I was trying to encapsulate some of Isaiah 53, along with the crucifixion accounts of the Gospels. I think it was a fitting way to begin our services this weekend, because it set the tone for everything that would follow.
"Let Me Sing" - This song is a staple for us, and this song really fit with the theme of this weekend. It communicates the reason for our worship and obedience: the fact that God loved us first and sent His Son to die on the cross on our behalf. I love how this song relays this thought, when we sing, "Let me sing/ Louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul to You." It really brings the two ideas together well.
"You Alone Can Rescue" - We haven't sung this song together in a while, and I think this week was a good week to bring it back. This song emphasizes our inability to rescue and redeem ourselves. We are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1), and we were enemies of God (Rom. 5:10), but still God loved us and made a way for us where there was no way, reconciling us to Himself through the cross of Christ. Praise God for His grace!
"Jesus Messiah" - We prefaced this song by reading from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. The last verse of that passage is where the first line of this song comes from: "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." That passage in 2 Corinthians is one of my favorites, as it helps clarify what Christ accomplished for us at the cross. He is our reconciliation.
"Nothing But The Blood" - This hymn is one of my favorites, because it makes no bones about declaring that the sole source of our redemption is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. He is the only way of salvation. He is the only one who could rescue us and give us life and hope. We need to rest in His finished work on the cross. He died in our place. He has dealt with our sin and the righteous wrath of God against sin. It is finished, all because Jesus shed His precious blood for us.
"The Wonderful Cross" - This song was our response song this week. As Joe finished proclaiming the significance of the cross and the encouraging our people to respond to this truth, we wanted to sing a song that examined the cross and reflected on its great meaning for our lives. The hymn ("When I Survey The Wondrous Cross") by Isaac Watts, along with the additional chorus by Tomlin and Reeves, was a great fit for the moment, and helped us in thanking Jesus for the cross and in offering our lives in response to His great sacrifice for us. I have loved this song since I first heard it in college, and I was thankful for a good opportunity to sing it again.
All around, this was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a great job, and I'm so thankful for what the Lord is doing in us, and especially grateful for the cross. I would have no hope without it.
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.
In the Son,
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