There is a story ever new,
I’ll tell it o’er and o’er,
How Jesus gave His life for me;
I want to love Him more.
-F.L. Snyder, There is a Story Ever New
Yesterday was Good Friday. Tomorrow will be Easter Sunday.
We are celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus – something that, if you’ve grown up in the Church, you will have heard of many times. I’m praying that the Lord will give me – and you, dear reader – grace to rejoice in the wonder of the Salvation Story with fresh awe.
The inspiration for my prayer comes from an observation I’ve made – that when it comes to Christmas and Easter, we tend to purge the familiar story, searching for something new and original. Those of us who write posts or lead studies look for new ways to present the Gospel so that it might recapture our fleeting attention. We create spin-offs on subplots and incorporate hidden messages.
I have a theory; we want to tickle peoples ears. We want eloquence, originality, and entertainment. By nature, the old is old. It rings dull to the ears of our heart.
What? The grand climax of God’s salvation story for the world rings dull? I think it’s time for a heart check.
Ask for the Ancient Paths
I’m thinking of a verse in Jeremiah.
This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
These words were originally spoken by God to the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the prophet Jeremiah. I think we can learn from them, too. Let’s not get lost looking for novelty. The core of the Gospel that once saved you is as good today as it was then. Let’s get back to the Story that first won our love.
(This music video touched me)
Those who know it best
I began this post with some lyrics from a hymn; here’s a verse from another:
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest;
-Arabella K. Hankey, I Love to Tell the Story
These lyrics aren’t a judgment statement (though they may come as a rebuke if the Holy Spirit is convicting you). Rather, I see it as a simple observation. If you look at those who know the Story best to the point of being transformed by it, you’ll find that they generally delight in hearing again of that which so gloriously saved them.
Let’s delight in hearing our Salvation Story again this Easter.
The Story Ever New
Finally Pilate handed him over to be crucified.
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others – one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
On the third day, when a group of women who loved Jesus went to his tomb and found his body missing…
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'”
Praise the Lord for such a great salvation!