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OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!

Peter and John running to the Tomb  George Burnard 1898
Peter and John running to the Tomb George Burnard 1898

HE IS RISEN!

WHAT A DAY THAT WAS — WE MUST NEVER FORGET!

God chose women to be at the empty tomb first, and they believed. When they ran out to tell the men, “They did not believe the women, for the words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24:11)

Luke the physician is actually using a medical term to describe the women. It is “hapax legomenon” and means the delirious talk of the very ill! Still, a quickening arose in the hearts of Peter and John, and the race began!

Yes – the grave was empty! Yes – Jesus had risen from the dead! Our God is an awesome God. This scene at a Michael W. Smith concert moved me, for God’s people were so eager they began singing before he did – and when he stopped playing the piano, they kept singing. OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD. Here is that link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38V8jnN1Kpw

untitledSome of us are quicker to believe than others – some of us, like Thomas, want more evidence. Caravaggio did this painting of Doubting Thomas, but I love how he shows that it isn’t just Thomas wanting to see the wounds the nails left – the others are looking too.

It is easy to be slow to believe, yet Jesus is patient with us. Perhaps my favorite account is the walk to Emmaus at the close of Luke, when “a stranger” joins two disciples who are grieving the crucifixion.

untitled2As He walks with them, He begins to show them how the Old Testament taught that Christ had to come and suffer and be raised from the dead. When He broke break with them at dinner, their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.

At The Gospel Coalition, the theme was “Christ in the Old Testament” and many powerful speakers opened our eyes to see him, causing our hearts to “burn within us.” Tim Keller made the parallel between the Exodus out of slavery in Egypt to our exodus out of Slavery. Perhaps you know the song The Horse and Rider Fell Into The Sea – the last verse is The Grave is Empty Won’t You ComThe Passover Lamb pointed to a Better Lamb, Moses to a Better Moses. No doubt many of you already knew this, but Keller took us deeper. What I’d like you to do this week is listen to Keller’s message and while listening or afterwards, answer the questions in the Bible study part. You’ll want to have your Bible open to Exodus 14. Here is the link which you can listen to immediately on your computer or download and put on your Ipod. If you cannot figure out how to do this, you still will be able to answer some of the questions in the Bible study.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/a/getting_out

Bible Study

1.  Tell us how God met you this holy week or Easter Sunday.

2.  Keller says there are innumberable references  to the Red Sea crossing in the New Testament, paralleling our exodus with theirs. What was one he mentioned that impact you and why?

3.  OUR BONDAGE HAS LAYERS.

untitled3

A)  As Eustace, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had layers, so do we. Sara Groves sings, “I’ve got layers of lies…” What did the Israelites say they said in Exodus 14:12?

B)  What did they really say in Exodus 4:29

C)  When you are tempted by your idol, whichever one is particularly plaguing you, what are some of the lies you tell yourself?

D)  Keller says they were objectively free, but not subjectively free. What did he mean? How does this relate to you?

E)  What else stood out to you from this section?

4.  HOW DO WE GET OUT?

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A)  What does Exodus 14:15 say?

B)How can you apply this to your struggle with your idol?

C)  The object, not the strength of the faith is what matters. This was probably may favorite part of Keller’s message – and I hope they video stream it so you can see him. But he contrasted two kinds of people going through the Red Sea – one with very strong faith and another with weak. Listen and describe what he said:

D)  Why did they both get through? What does this teach you?

E)  Brilliantly, Keller shows how water in Scripture portrays the Gospel. It can symbolize creation and God’s mercy or de-creation and God’s wrath. Listen and find examples of each:

i.  Creation and God’s mercy

ii.  De-creation and God’s wrath

5.  What else stood out to you from this message?

6.  What is your take-a-way this week?

7.  Do you have a Resurrection Song you’d like to share? (We’ve learned that sometimes when you give a link we have to approve the comment, so don’t worry if it doesn’t appear immediately.)

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169 comments

  1. Here is a map with areas reporting damage. Appears to be overwhelming. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl Well it does not show up. not sure how I found it

  2. Some of you that have been on here longer may remember the study on friendship Dee done and I told you about my friend Mary that helped me so much through a very difficult 1st marriage when I was very young…in my 20’s. Mary remained friends with me for years, untill she died about 5 yrs. ago. She was from Alabama.

    Well, I have remained friends with her daughter, Jana, about my age, for years also, and her and her family live in Tuscaloosa, AL… exactly where that horrible tornato hit so bad and many are dead. They are saying not to try and call as all power is down and you can’t get through. So, I don’t know how they are. Her and her husband have their divorced daughter and grandchild living with them. Please pray they are okay. Pray for everyone going through this.

  3. 6. What is your take-a-way this week?

    * My take-a-way this week is three-fold:
    #1. the water symbolism in scripture. Some of it I have never heard of or considered, so I am excited to keep this in my mind and look at some more passages. (OH, this is huge for me by the way. Keller put together some pieces for me in the story of Jonah and in other places I hadn’t thought of including the creation and de-creation terms. I hadn’t thought of that either.)

    #2. To remember that while I am objectively free from enslavement I still carry enslavement subjectively, but I don’t have to, even though I will. 🙂 since I have been walking in it so long, there are layers and God is peeling them away as He is growing me, but in reality they are flea bites compared to the incomprehensible love and sacrifice of Jesus’ death and resurrection. When I think of what Jesus gave up, what He went through to save me to bridge the gap between me and God, my problems seem so small.

    #3. I also LOVED the object of my faith vs. the quality of my faith. That puts the focus in the right place-on Him. It frees me from condemning myself when my faith is weak and actually encourages me because I know it doesn’t matter, He is still here to walk with me through the fire and to bring me across. His love won’t change and He won’t depart from me. It also helps us not to be so judgmental toward others and ourselves.

      1. Dee, Wow, yes I would love to do that if I can find something and figure out how to video it. Let me think some more on this and see what I can come up with. Will keep you posted! 🙂

        1. Oh.. I was wanting to clarify if you were thinking more along the lines of me singing a cover song, and what you had in mind.

        2. Dee, haha! Oh..o.k. I must warn you, I have been told I have blonde roots. 🙂 It takes a while! O.k. so find a song like for example a Sara Groves song and put it with pictures, download it on you tube and then share it with you all. I get it..That would be MUCH easier to put together. Thanks for clarifying that, this will be fun!

        3. Oh, just so you know, a cover song is someone elses song..Like if I were to sing a song originally sung by like Sandy Patti or someone else.

  4. I am also wanting to go over Jonah’s prayer again as soon as I have time to look at it deeper. I can see in His prayer a lot of pointing to Jesus, I just haven’t had the time to look more deeper.

  5. Dee, I have a question relating to idolatry. I know you will do this but would like to say anyway, please be honest with me even if it seems brutal.

    As I said before, sometimes I think I see things that other people who are gifted differently don’t see. One of the things I have noticed is that there are sometimes people who go to church totally to feed their idols. They feed on people with the gift of mercy. My friend has been completely turned inside out by someone like this. She survived it and has grown but this woman, as far as I can see has no relationship with the Lord whatsoever, and she was a ‘pillar’ in our former church. Lately I have visited in my friend’s present church and she has another such person in her small group. She struggles to minister to this person who is ungrateful and a black hole for ministering. To me it seems the wrong thing to feed idolatry in another. Should I share with my friend what I see and my thoughts about it? Or do you think she is doing what Jesus would do in this situation? Am I being unmerciful?

      1. Dee, you do understand. She is a close friend and I feel comfortable to talk to her about it. I will do as you say.
        Thanks.

  6. Rebecca–just a thought here–No More Chains by Nichole Nordeman is really fitting. It’s not my favorite of hers, but the lyrics are really good!

    1. Elizabeth..Yes..Great song..That led me to “Finally Free” by Nicole Nordeman..We are getting closer!!!!! This is a really good challenge. It is causing me to begin to really meditate on this study from the beginning until now. Keep the ideas coming! 🙂

        1. Getting closer..Here are the lyrics to a Casting Crowns song called ‘Set Me Free’ that is really good. The only thing is the music might be a bit too rock not sure: (Still looking though.)

          It hasn’t always been this way
          I remember brighter days
          Before the dark ones came
          Stole my mind
          And wrapped my soul in chains

          Now I live among the dead
          Fighting voices in my head
          Hoping someone hears me crying in the night
          And carries me away

          Chorus:
          Set me free of these chains holding me
          Is anybody out there hearing me?
          Set me free

          Morning breaks another day
          Finds me crying in the rain
          All alone with my demons I am

          Who is this man that comes my way?
          The dark ones shriek
          They scream His name
          Is this the One they say will set the captives free?
          Jesus, rescue me

          Chorus

          As the God man passes by
          He looks straight through my eyes
          The darkness cannot hide

          Do you want to be free?
          Lift your chains
          I hold the key
          All power of Heav’n and earth belong to Me
          (Repeat)

          You are free
          You are free
          You are free

        2. Anything you sing will be beautiful, Rebecca!

        3. Thanks so much! I am being led to find something that someone else has done. My desire is to use movie clips from a couple of movies, but not sure how to get them downloaded on my computer yet. Pictures would be easier, but I like a challenge. We’ll see. 🙂

  7. My take aways are just meditating on this layers thing…My 9 yo daughter cries alot because she see this sin in her that she wants to be gone. She is saved and loves God so much that is why it breaks her heart. I remembered this and used the example of Eustice trying to remove the dragon skin himself and how God has to do it and we have to trust and let Him. I also taught her how to recognize the signs like we discussed a few weeks ago. She really seemed to understand. We love Narnia and speak of the metaphors often. So I am thankful for that. I told her I am still a work in progress as well and how I too sometimes try to do it without God but if we pray for one another God will keep working on us. 🙂

    1. Angela, This is a beautiful picture to me..Hard to put into words, but I picture you and your daughter and how deeply, deeply pleased God must be.

      Oh and how God must have melted when He heard your daughter say that! What a precious one!

  8. Oh and funny while I was listening to Keller my daughter asked me if it was our pastor! HA! He is our associate pastor the one who preached on the same topic about Lazarus and the rich man regarding last weeks discussion – I thought it was funny because they do sound kind of alike and are like minded. He is preaching tomorrow am and because he is not the “head” pastor sometimes people do not appreciate him. Please lift him in prayer if you think of it. Have a blessed Sunday you all! Love to you!

    Tornado update: Most are with power now…still a work in progress. The really damaged areas are being diligently worked on. It is nice to see the community coming together at times like this. I can see God in it as the body of Christ comforts, mourns, and rebuilds together. One of my friends lost most everything – they have a lot of work ahead. Please pray for them as well. 4 families in our church had significant damage to property but no injuries praise God.

    1. Praise God!