So you can come along

A girl with stories

Heart Cries & The Lamb March 28, 2013

Filed under: Freedom,His truth,Nerdy Thoughts — Amanda Lynn @ 4:28 am

Did you know that it’s “Holy Week”?

Time flies and it sure doesn’t feel like Spring with this prolonged Winter (Way to tell North America a big fat fib, Punxsutawney Phil).

Nevertheless, Easter is this Sunday.

 

As a born and raised Southern Baptist girl, there was never much of a focus on things that could easily be confused with our Catholic friends’ traditions. This included the practices of Lent and the observances of Holy Week.

For example, tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. So, each time I heard that today at the Catholic hospital where I work, all I really heard was the Godfather’s Apollonia saying, “I know English: Maundy, Tuesday, Wednesday…” Just kidding. Sort of.

But really, Maundy Thursday, also called “Holy Thursday or Covenant Thursday”,  is tomorrow.

Turns out, Maundy is not “Monday” in a sweet Italian accent. It comes from the Latin word Mandatum and literally means, “Washing of the Feet”.

 

The Thursday before resurrection Sunday, the night before the death of Jesus, we see this passage from John 13 taking place as the disciples shared the last passover of the old covenant…the last passover before FULL atonement would be made the very next day.

5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet

and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

 

 

That Thursday was chock-full of significance, but what my heart centers around tonight is the intimacy of Christ with his beloved on this last evening before “Good Friday”.

God, in human flesh, stooped to wash their feet. He spent the last evening of his incarnation serving in a menial position.

This shouldn’t be so surprising since Jesus is the suffering servant prophesied in Isaiah, but I’m awed by the humility he constantly displayed. Being fully man, we can know that he was tempted to be self-seeking and to give in to pride. But he didn’t.

If it weren’t enough for him, as their Master and Lord, to bend down and wash their feet…we see them all reclining at the table together too. I get that this was the custom, but I’ve heard it said that as chapter 13 goes on to tells us that John himself “leaned forward on Jesus’ chest…‘”.  I believe that John actually leaned in toward Jesus’ chest. And, go ahead and call me a mystic if you want, but I am totally OK with folks saying that John probably heard the heartbeat of Christ at that time. It’s a little bit of a reach, but regardless of whether John heard it or not, it was there. Jesus had a heartbeat just like yours and mine.

 

This past year at the Passion conference, Beth Moore shared some insights about that passover meal with us. She focused on the “layering of the gospels”. We have, in this passage of scripture, a confluence of covenants. Under the old covenant, we know that there was some lamb on their passover plates. That lamb represented the coming Messiah who would redeem Israel. That lamb represented purity, the remission of sin. The blood of that lamb would have been sprinkled over their doorposts signifying their salvation from death in Egypt. Well, at this particular (last) passover there was the lamb on their plates and The Lamb in their presence. The final atonement for sin was not on their plates, but at their table. John may have just finished eating the passover lamb, but when he leaned in toward Jesus…he would have been hearing the heartbeat of the Lamb of God.

 

passover

 

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Can we just talk about the heart for a minute?  (If I haven’t nerd-ed y’all out enough yet)

God created the human heart to weigh, on average, about 11 ounces. That muscle, all 11 ounces of it, pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels EVER DAY. It’s likely, if you’re about average, that your heart beat a little over 100,000 times yesterday.

The heart is a powerful organ. It’s something that most of us don’t think about. Because ain’t nobody got time for ‘dat…unless something about the beating of our hearts is irregular, too slow, or too fast. Then, we might think about it a lot more. God keeps our hearts going “lub dub” thousands of times every day, and He did that for Jesus too.

So friends, that’s where I’m at on this eve of Maundy Thursday…looking at the heart of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

 

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Most of us know this story, Thursday led Jesus to Gethsemane, which led him to Pilot, which eventually led to Friday.

On Good Friday,  Jesus’ heart was still beating through all that he had endured. Hours on the cross to atone for our sin….

Medical scholars who study the word will tell you that, through reading the accounts of Jesus’ death in the 4 gospels, that we have an accurate account of what physically happened that day…

As Christ breathed out, “Into Your hands I commit my spirit”, the word says that he “gave up his spirit” and that the custom was to take the men off their crosses. But first, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side to assure that he was dead. “And immediately there came out blood and water” {all of this from John 19}. We see that there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart (the pericardium), giving  evidence that Christ died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

The Lamb of God, whose heart was beating to serve, to love, to redeem, to glorify the Father….literally broke under the strain of the wrath of God; the final atonement for our sin.

 

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Praise God that we don’t end the story here!!!

In the words of Pastor S. M. Lockridge….”Sunday’s comin’!”

But for today, I’ll sit and observe this heart break of my Savior and rest in the finality of his sacrifice.

And because his heart was broken….we, under the grace of his provision, can live with open, tender hearts {Ephesians 4:32}.

So, you tender-hearted ones with vulnerability in a world that is prone to hurt…beat on.

You, brave-hearted who live with your hearts open, to the good and the bad…beat on and don’t be afraid because the Lamb of God has a heart of faithfulness toward His beloved.

His promises are sure!

The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night.

:: Revelation 22:23-25 ::

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