Posts Tagged ‘palm sunday’

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the Sin of the World.” (John1v29)

April 16, 2011

Herein lies the core of the Christian message! Surely no creature is more innocent and harmless than a little lamb, which is why Jesus, the perfect Son of God, is compared to one. I wrote the following lines many years ago when I went for a walk, and then fell asleep under a tree on an April afternoon…

 

The Final Sacrifice

(Hebrews 10)

 I saw a lamb so loveable upon a warm spring day…

How beautiful the innocent when they are at their play!

It jumped and skipped and ran with merry youthful glee,

Then refuge took in mother’s milk, sucking eagerly.

 

I strolled within the meadow green and sat beneath an oak,

Its budding arms drooped over me, my memories awoke.

I thought of all the lambs I’d known, and how with joy they leap,

And then my eyes grew heavy, my memories in sleep.

 

I dreamed I saw ten thousand lambs beneath an eastern sky,

They cried for mother mercy, but they knew that they must die.

Men in flowing robes of old killed them one by one,

Blood upon the doorposts; little ones consumed before the risen sun.

 

Those who sheltered ’neath the blood, escaped God’s wrath that night,

But for those that worshipped Egypt’s gods, how sorry was their plight.

From first-born child and beast, was taken life and breath,

At midnight’s hour so long ago, all Egypt tasted death.

 

And then I heard another Lamb: “It is finished” was His cry,

Because of this, my love for all, no other lambs should die.

I dreamed of this, His sacrifice, the nail prints in His palms,

And how He suffered, died, and rose for we His precious lambs.

 

The whispering wind in the ancient oak stirred me from my sleep,

And I heard again the cry of a lamb, wandering from shepherd’s keep.

Oh come to Him my wounded lamb, now caught in the grove of sin,

Oh come to the fold of the Shepherd of Love and by faith now enter in.

 

You may hear His voice in the city streets – or in a desert place,

He whispers o’er the ocean waves, how wonderful His grace!

He knows your name, He loves your face, the sheep that has gone astray,

And He longs to make your heart His home, before God’s Judgement Day.

 © Elizabeth Burke

 Isaac Watt’s hymn, “Not all the Blood of Beasts” written in 1709, describes it so well. Here are the first two verses…

Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace
Or wash away the stain.

But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.

My prayer is that the Jewish people would see that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10v4) and that those who trust in the sacrifice of the mass would see that “every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God;” (Hebrews 10v11&12). And may those who know Him as Saviour reach out as never before to their fellowmen who have yet to find that “new and living way” which is described in Hebrews 10v20.

Link to this hymn:  http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/n/a/nalblood.htm

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My little Greek Donkey – A Thought for “Palm Sunday”……(John 12)

March 23, 2010

Paul said: “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Gal. 4v10&11) Therefore with this in mind, I do not observe these “days, months, times and years” in the sense that I feel obliged to pay homage to them. Yet these times which are noted on our international calendars may be used to proclaim all that the Lord has laid upon our hearts. With this in mind, I remember my little Greek donkey…

Some years ago I made friends with a little donkey on the Greek Island of Corfu. Day after day it stood tethered by the dusty roadside, looking parched in the intense heat of the sun. As I gave it some water to drink, my eyes fell on the cross upon its back… something peculiar to all donkeys I had ever seen.

He could have chosen a golden chariot drawn by well-groomed horses, for after all He was the King of Glory, but as always Jesus trod the road of humility.

It was a beautiful day when those who loved Him lined His path with branches of palm trees, as He came riding upon an ass’s colt. “Hosanna!” they cried, “Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” There were certain Greeks on that day who had come to worship at the feast. “Sir, we would see Jesus…” they said to Philip. (John 12v21)

Sometimes on a stormy Irish winter’s night while I try to sleep, my thoughts return to another time, another place… and my little donkey. Aptly named ‘beast of burden’, the donkey is universally subjected to ill-treatment. No one understands burdens more than Jesus does, for He took the burden of sin of the entire human race to Calvary – and made it His own.

Today, as the burdens of life would press upon us, we can (like the Greeks of old) see Jesus – by faith. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden”, He says, “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt.11v28-30). Why not trust Him with your burden today, for no matter who you are or what you have done, He died to make your burdens His own!

Jesus said: Peace I leave with you, my peace give I unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14v27)  © Elizabeth Burke 2006