Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Good Friday Service

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http://www.highlandave.org/audio/032516message.mp3

Pastor Gabe Martin

Holy week is a week in which we have opportunity to sit with the complexities of death and life. In the crucifixion we draw our hearts to those areas of life that are dark and lonely, but we don’t remain there. With the resurrection we draw near to the central reality of the Christian faith. “Death has been swallowed up in victory!” Grace ushers us into the presence of Christ where we experience freedom in its truest form; The newness of life in the kingdom of God! One of my favorite hymns of Charles Wesley tells the story well:

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain-
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace-
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray-
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

This Friday we reflect, but this Sunday we rejoice! This Friday we lament the many ways that we have betrayed, abandoned, and denied Jesus, but this Sunday we celebrate the life and love that has invited us into grace and restoration!

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

 

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