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Category Archives: Jesus

Merry Christmas!!!

“The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits….This story is supreme and it is true.”

–JRRT, On Fairy Stories



 
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Posted by on December 24, 2010 in celebrate, Christmas, gospel, Jesus, quotes, Tolkien

 

Discovery of Fire and the Gospel

This is why I love Jared Wilson:

Isn’t the good news like fire? Isn’t hearing it and believing in it a precious, wondrous, life-changing event? It’s startling, confusing, exhilarating in the joy of first sight of something we’ve ever longed for. It gives heat never had, warmth never felt, makes everything taste better. Don’t we dance to discover it, hoot and holler over its newness, its blazing, dangerous beauty?

Don’t we want to light many more fires with it, touching torches and lanterns and taking them everywhere cold and dark? Don’t we want to take this fire and immolate those frozen memorials to flameless promisers of fire? Don’t we want to light up the world with this wonderful elemental stuff?

Don’t we?

I know I sure do!

Lord, cause many in New England and beyond to discover the fire of the gospel of Jesus the Messiah!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in gospel, gospel-change, Heart, Jesus, revival

 

“Already But Not Yet” CD Release

I am overjoyed to announce that my CD “Already But Not Yet” is now available! Overjoyed by the hope that God will use these songs to encourage many people and churches. Overjoyed to contribute to the hymn-renewal movement that the Spirit is using to revive the Church. Overjoyed to exalt the true Redeemer!

“Already But Not Yet” tells a story–God’s story of Redemption through King Jesus. And each song moves the story forward from Christ’s Cross, Resurrection, and Exaltation to our life of Exile and Prayer, and finally to the celebration in the New Creation. Already redemption has been accomplished. But not yet completed. We await the Return of the King!

Song Titles

1. He is Risen (Resurrection)

2. Look! Ye Saints (Exaltation)

3. Christ is Coming (Exile)

4. Come, Lord Jesus, to Redeem Us (Prayer)

5. Upon this Mount–Isaiah 25:6-9 (New Creation)

6. There is a Fountain (Our Theme)

CDs are now available to purchase at BullMoose Music (Windham and Portland) and will soon be available for download at ITunes.

For mail orders please mail a check to Joshua Otte |973 River Rd |Windham, ME 04062. $7ea or 2 for $10. Just add $3 shipping (up to 4 CDs). Add $0.50 for additional CDs. If you have any questions email me (eucatastrophe101 at yahoo dot com) until the website is launched! Thanks!

UPDATE. Please check out my Facebook Music Page. Listen to the tracks, leave a note, tell your friends!

UPDATE. Please check out my Facebook Music Page. Listen to the tracks, leave a note, tell your friends!

 

Numbness will be the Exception, not the Norm

Some rich, gospel encouragement from an excerpt of Jared Wilson’s upcoming book.

But! Oh man. If we are regularly and excitedly engaging people in the good news of the finished saving work of the sacrificing, dying, rising, exalted, sovereign Jesus Christ who is the death-proof, fail-proof King of kings before all things and in all things and holding all things together as he sustains the world by the mere word of his power, the ones whose hearts are opened by the Spirit to be won to Christ will be irrevocably changed. Numbness will be the exception, rather than the norm. We will not have to lead them through hoops of creative entertainment, constantly hamstrung by the limits of our artistic brainstorming sessions, seeking to keep their attentions stirred by a well-composed aesthetic this or that.

 

Songs of Redemption Project

I’m super pumped to announce that I’ll be in the studio this week recording a  6 song EP. The songs include…

  • “There is a Fountain” (William Cowper)
  • “He is Risen!” (Eric Schumacher)
  • “Come Lord Jesus to Redeem Us” (Gary Parrett)
  • “Upon this Mount (Isaiah 25:6-9) (Gary Parrett)
  • “Look Ye Saints the Sight is Glorious”(Thomas Kelly)
  • “Christ is Coming! Let Creation” (John R. MacDuff)

Each of these songs build the theme of Redemption from Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to our waiting for his return and our celebration of his return. This is an exciting project not only for me but also for our music team, our church and Jesus’ Church everywhere because the end result will be more Truth-saturated music in the ears, hearts and minds of many!

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2009 in gospel, Jesus, music, worship

 

What is Satan’s Strategy?

It is Satan’s great effort to keep you from Jesus. By holding up to your view a false picture of His character, from which everything loving, winning, inviting, and attractive is excluded, by suggesting wrong views of His work, in which everything gloomy, contracted, and repulsive is foisted upon the mind; by assailing the atonement, questioning the compassion, and limiting the grace of Christ, he would persuade you that in that heart which bled on Calvary there is no room for you, and that upon that work which received the Father’s seal there is not breadth sufficient for you to stand. All his endeavors are directed, and all his assaults are shaped, with a view to keep your soul back from Christ. It is thus he seeks to vent his wrath upon the Savior, and his malignity upon you.
–Octavius Winslow, Morning Thoughts, August 18

 
 

A Book I Want to Read

My buddy, Bob, is reviewing a book that I can’t wait to get into–Jared Wilson’s Your Jesus is Too Safe.

 

Honest About Sin, Hopeful About Forgiveness

I haven’t been blogging much. I’m gearing up for vacation next week and am hoping that a restful week by the lake might reinvigorate my writing.

For now, here are some gospel-musings that I recently shared with my church family.

The gospel frees us to be both brutally honest about our sin and abundantly hopeful about our forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  When we come face to face with the gospel there is no room for denial and there is no room for despair. This prayer from The Valley of Vision fed my soul richly yesterday, and I hope that God might use it to preach the gospel to your soul today.

All things in heaven, earth, around, within and without condemn me—

the sun which sees my misdeeds,

the darkness which is light to You,

the cruel accuser who justly charges me,

the good angels who have been provoked to leave me,

Your countenance which scans my secrete sins,

Your righteous law, Your holy Word,

my sin-soiled conscience, my private and public life,

my neighbors, myself—

all write dark things against me.

I do not deny them, do not excuse them, but confess,

“Father, I have sinned.”

Yet still I live, and fly repenting to Your outstretched arms;

You will not cast me off, for Jesus brings me near,

You will not condemn me, for He died in my place,

You will not mark my mountains of sin, for He leveled all,

And his beauty covers my deformities.

O my God, I bid farewell to sin by clinging to His cross,

Hiding in his wounds, and sheltering in His side.

–adapted from “Divine Mercies” from the Valley of Vision, p. 17

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2009 in gospel, Jesus, prayer

 

The Bible is not about you, it’s about Jesus

This is one of my favorite quotes by Tim Keller. In Edmond Clowney-esque fashion, Keller shows how every story of Scripture foreshadows or anticipates Jesus. Seeing Christ in all of Scripture is not merely about typology; it’s about rightly seeing how every story in Scripture fits into the larger context of the whole Story of Redemption and how that whole Story is either pointing forward to Jesus or reflecting backward to him (and then forward again to his return!)

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27

  • Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15).
  • Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24).
  • Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing wither he went!” to create a new people of God.
  • Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. While God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me,” now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from me.”
  • Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.
  • Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.
  • Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3).
  • Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.
  • Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42).
  • Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.
  • Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.
  • Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.
  • Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb – innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He is the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, the Bread.

The Bible is not about you — it is about him.

Tim Keller, “Preaching to the Heart”

 

Good Friday–The Great Eucatastrophe

I had the privilege of preaching at Atmosphere Church’s Good Friday service last week. What an amazing time of gathered worship. Together we gazed into the sovereign irony surrounding the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus. The music, the teaching, the prayer, the celebration of the Table caused me to see and savor my bleeding, dying Lord even more.

Together we explored the ironies of the Cross through the lens of Eucatastrophe.

What is Good Friday? Good Friday is an oxymoron, a day of irony, of painful paradoxes. Irony makes us… laugh and think more clearly. Irony makes us see familiar things with fresh eyes.

But Good Friday is not just a day of ordinary irony. It is THE day of the THE Ultimate Irony. It is the most catastrophic day in all of history! But it’s a good catastrophe. It is a Eucatastrophe, the Great Eucatastrophe. The execution of Jesus on that Roman Cross on that Friday afternoon nearly two thousand years ago was the greatest, most complete, the ultimate Eucatastrophe ever and that will ever be.

J.R.R. Tolkien coined this phrase to explain how good things can come from catastrophes, how unpredictable redemption can be won in the midst of unimaginable loss. But Tolkien’s standard was not fiction or fantasy like his Lord of the Rings. He believed all of the happy endings in all of our fairy tales were but faint echoes of the real gospel of the real good news. Speaking of the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection, Tolkien said: “There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was trueBut this story is supreme; and it is true.”

Tonight we stare into the day of irony, the day of Eucatastrophe, this Good Friday. With God’s help let us stare into the good catastrophe of the cross with fresh eyes.

  • First we will see how Good Friday is a Eucatastrophe for Jesus.
  • And then we will see how Jesus’ Eucatastrophe is good news for us.

(Click here for the whole sermon: “Good Friday–the Great Eucatastrophe”)