- Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen
i'm no long-timer. last season was my first season of AI to ever watch. i'm definitely not hard-to-the-cizz-ore 'cause i fast forward through everything but the actual performances and simon's critiques. i've even stopped listening to paula's nonsense as comic relief, but am tempted to see what she has to say every time simon starts with something like, "i REALLY need an interpreter to know what she's saying."
alas, just give me the talent and the most to-the-point, realistic judge (i realize he words things more harshly than necessary at times, but still).
all that being said, i see things that fuel what i hope will play out for this season.
my early favorite was danny gokey... but my new fave is kris allen.
to compare to last season: gokey is my jason castro. i liked jason from day one, but he kinda fizzled for me. kind of a one trick pony. no progression. i see that with gokey, too. kris is my david cook. cook last season kinda grew on me and kept me rooting for him week after week with variety and execution. that's what kris is bringing to the table for me. cool arrangements, masterfully executed. winning combo, if it were wilsonian idol.
now... adam lambert... (prepare to hate) is my david archuleta. he's talented, no doubt. i just don't like what he does. archuleta and lambert are VERY different, i realize. but in my book, they're both talented singers who i don't want to listen to. lambert is quite the showman. very impressive, but i don't want an album of it. he's like axl rose meets geddy lee meets elton john... in a bad way.
and sadly, over the past two season, i can't figure out why girls are still even contestants on this show. good luck, ladies. adam is DEFINITELY the only person with eyeliner who has a chance.
(and the rest of you, i guess. but specifically the roberts girls, who haven't wavered in their HSM proselytizing!)
mr. walter disney gets weird, but just dismiss him...
i've been wanting to share this with the interweb for many moons, but have just now been able to due to technical and legal obstacles. it's a video we put together for an exodus series i preached last semester.
hope you dig it as much as i do.
The Plagues (Prince of Egypt/Johnny Cash) from HWY 249 on Vimeo.
i realize my holy week posts have each been 12-24 hours late each day (i thought this post went public late last night...)
(this is a lot, but i just couldn't cut more out... it's hard enough not posting the entire chapter!)
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For God has put all things in subjection under his feet. But when it says, all things are put in subjection, it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all ...
35 But someone will ask, How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come? 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies ...
42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being;the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable ...
1 Corinthians 15:12-28;35-36;42-50
the crucifixion validates the Gospel of Christ's sacrifice. like paul says in the passage above: if Christ was not resurrected, then we have no hope and are still dead in our sin. the fact that Jesus lived a perfect life and laid it down to pay for the sin of others is amazing enough. the fact that He not only fulfilled that law/payment but trumped, conquered, and negated it is astounding.
i was encouraged by this passage earlier in the week while leading a Bible study and reminded this morning again that we are to live with the hopeful expectation of people forever changed and made alive in Christ BECAUSE of the resurrection. it's one thing to be saved from wages of sin... it's another to be made alive in Christ knowing that one day what is perishable and was sown in dishonor and weakness will be raised imperishable in glory and power! it may be difficult to separate the two, but these things are possible because of the resurrection, not the crucifixion. because Christ was raised, we too will be raised. if we aren't to be raised, then Christ wasn't raised either. and without that validation, that sealing of the deal, we are to be pitied; our Gospel is hooey, our hope is a pipe dream, we're still dead in our sins.
the law is powerful. the law is God's standard. the law wasn't just disregarded and dismissed. the law was fulfilled (praise God!) on good friday. the law was first fulfilled, THEN dismissed. we shouldn't miss that when we consider God's grace. it's not a gimme. it was paid for. it might be free to us, but it was very costly. to leave it at that, though, keeps the law in power. death remains the victor. and if you know God, you know He's not going out like that (He's not going out, ever). rejoice that we share in His victory! death is swallowed up!
53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory?O death, where is your sting? 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:53-58
how often we lose sight of that ending! we worry, we doubt, we fear. but our hope is secure! the victory sealed at Christ's resurrection is just waiting to be unleashed en masse at the final resurrection! so yeah, easter's a big deal. it matters. ironically, the crux of Christianity, in a way, is not the cross... it's the empty tomb. it's proof that Christ's death wasn't a publicity stunt to drum up a following. the crucifixion wasn't a dice roll. the resurrection confirms it was God's insured, calculated, predetermined, sovereign and victorious plan to display His glory by redeeming sinners.
because of the resurrection, "just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven."
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him. 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, Behold the man! 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, Crucify him, crucify him! Pilate said to them, Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him ...
17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, Do not write, The King of the Jews, but rather, This man said, I am King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, They divided my garments among them,and for my clothing they cast lots.So the soldiers did these things ...
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), I thirst. 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, It is finished, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
1 Peter 3:18
good friday, like maundy thursday, has a few aliases and possible origins. it's sometimes called black friday, but of course we've associated that term with the consumer madness on the day after thanksgiving.
some people wonder why "good" was used to describe the day of Jesus' death. some believe "good day/friday" evolved from "God's day/friday". others believe that "good" is a gross understating of what happened on the day Jesus died.
the darkest day in the physical life of Jesus the man was the culmination of His saving purpose on this earth. "it is finished" didn't mark the swan song of a great philosopher, teacher, or prophet. Jesus wasn't throwing in the towel on His physical life. He was proclaiming the completion of His substitutionary atonement. good friday is marked by Christ's ultimate act of obedience to the Father. Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross created our only way for reconciliation to God. if Jesus had any sin of His own, His death wouldn't have paid for ours. before we believed in Him, He did this. before we considered Him, He did this. before we heard of Him, He did this. before we even existed, He did this.
that's not a picture of us finding or pursuing God. that's a picture of God pursuing us. that's Jesus condescending from Heaven to humanity to seek and save the lost. Christ's death on the cross fulfilled God's plan of redeeming us to Himself. without it, we stand guilty, condemned. through it, by it, and because of it, the righteousness of God is imparted to us. to borrow from my favorite hymn, "oh the bliss of this glorious thought!"
good friday, indeed.
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered him, What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand. 8 Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.
i admit it. i had no idea what "maundy" meant before yesterday. i knew the events of maundy thursday, but never really understood what "maundy" meant. if you're like me, let me explain. the english word "maundy" stems from the latin word for mandate or commandment. it's associated with the night of the last supper because, after washing the disciples' feet, Jesus stated "A new commandment (mandatum) I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."
john 13 begins by explaining that Jesus knew His hour had come. with the coming events in mind, Jesus begins to serve the disciples by washing their feet.
as if His incarnation and crucifixion wouldn't be strong enough examples of humility and service, He literally kneels to wash the feet of His own followers. peter's response is only natural, that Jesus shouldn't stoop to such a menial task. but Jesus, through the self-debasing act as Jesus/rabbi/teacher washing His students' feet was pointing them (and us) even further to His role as Christ/Messiah/Savior. "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me."
if Jesus didn't come to earth in the likeness of man... if He didn't humble Himself to death on a cross... He wouldn't be the Christ... He would just be rabbi. and if we aren't washed by His blood... if we don't accept the benefit (by placing our faith in Him) of His service and submission unto death, then we have no part with Him. peter's impulse was that accepting a foot-washing from Jesus would tarnish His role as rabbi. Jesus points out that if we deny a "spirit-washing" we deny His role as the suffering, serving Savior.
likewise we, as followers of Christ, are to suffer and serve. we're to love one another as Christ loved us (through service and sacrifice).
don't skip over the events of holy week this week. today/tonight reflect on Christ's service/sacrifice on the night of the last supper, keeping in mind His ultimate sacrifice that was to follow.