April 9, 2023


Suffering first. Then glory. As it was with Christ’s redeeming work, so it will be for us as we follow Him. It’s the most natural and understandable thing for us to want to rush through the sufferings to get to the glory, but the suffering is not just an obstacle to get past on the way to glory. It is preparing us for that glory, according to Paul.

“This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

This week we will gather to worship on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, to remember the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. If we rush past the sufferings to get to the glories, we’ll miss the magnitude of those glories.

On Good Friday, Randy Gruendyke will be preaching from Mark 15:1-15 where the crowds cry for a murderer to be set free and for Jesus, the Innocent One, to be sent to a cross. Let’s ask the Lord to help us sit with Christ in his suffering and marvel at the extraordinary love that led him to endure it for us.

What thou, my Lord, hast suffered
was all for sinners’ gain.
Mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
’Tis I deserve thy place.

And Sunday, Erik Thoennes will be preaching from Mark 16:1-8 and Acts 4:10-12. As the women arrive at the tomb in the pre-dawn hours, they are met with the angelic announcement:

“You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:6).”

What the council and Pilate conspired to carry out, didn’t stick. Jesus was crucified and buried, but he rose from the dead. He had called his shot.

“Go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” (Mark 16:7)

In Jesus’ resurrection, we see a sneak preview of the glories ahead for us. So as we continue to deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow Him, let’s ask the Spirit to help us “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18),” the glories that will soon be ours.

Soar we now where Christ has led, alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, alleluia!

See you Friday and Sunday, Grace. Invite someone to join you and come hungry!


Empty Grave by Zach Williams

Iseeanempty grave
I hearthe heavens waking
Angelsin jubilation
That stone’s been rolled away
I feel the darkness breaking
I bet the devil’s shaking
Somebody celebrate
I see an empty grave