Easter · Harry Potter · Jesus+Nothing=Everything · Tullian Tchividjian

Harry Potter, Easter and the Passion of the Christ

“Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive. His job was to walk calmly into Death’s welcoming arms.”

Harry willfully walks in the the embrace of death to protect those he loves. He surrenders himself to his destiny and in the end defeats death by death. He has a choice, he could run, but he gives himself freely for the greater good.

As I was sitting in church today, I was thinking about this scene from Harry Potter over and over again. Some people might think it strange that I would be thinking about a movie while sitting in church, so I will explain why. The sermon today was all about surrender. The pastor talked about Jesus and how his whole life was nothing but surrender. First he surrendered his place in heaven to come to earth as a human. Then, he surrendered his comfort to grow up and live his life in the backwoods of the Roman empire, not really heaven on earth. And most importantly, he surrendered his life to the will of the Father and gave himself up to be nailed to a cross when he could have called down twelve legions of angels to wipe out all who would dare touch him. Jesus surrenders it all to do what I cannot.  He pays the price for my sin, but he also gives me what I need to change; because here’s the thing about surrender, I can’t do it by myself. The power to lay down myself does not come from me, it comes through the work that Christ does on the cross and the power of his resurrection. Tullian Tchividjian says it like this,

 “Therefore, it’s the gospel (what Jesus has done) that alone can give God-honoring animation to our obedience. The power to obey comes from being moved and motivated by the complete work of Jesus for us. The fuel to do good flows from what’s already been done. So again, while the law directs us, only the gospel can drive us.”

So when it comes to surrendering all to the Father in the way Christ does, I must look to what Christ has done and know it’s not about what I do, but it is about what he has done. Therefore it is through the power of the gospel that I can lay myself aside and follow him with everything I am. I can surrender, because he has already surrendered himself for me, and has given himself as a ransom for many.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV)

abortion · spiritual warfare · The Princess Bride · worship

Owl Post 2-20-2012


As You Wish: The Princess Bride: 

I asked our readers what I should watch (and review) for Valentine’s Day, and The Princess Bride was nominated. Some people in my college dorm watched the film back in 1991 ad nauseum and put a bad taste in my mouth for this 1987 Rob Reiner movie, but the reality remains that the fanciful film is an enduring classic for men and women, boys and girls of all ages in all ages. Examining the narrative, is it any wonder why? Link

Learning to Stand: 

My recent studies of Ephesians have marked me deeply. It may be that the most important application to my life has been in the awareness of Satan’s work around me and, on that basis, learning how to stand firm. Ephesians 6 is a powerful call to be aware of the enemy and his army; it teaches that there is an enemy who devotes his entire existence to the destruction of God’s work and God’s people. Every Christian is engaged in battle against him. Link

The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion: 

AMID the sound and fury of the latest culture-war battles — first over breast cancer dollars and Planned Parenthood, and then over the White House’s attempt to require that religious employers cover contraception and potential abortifacients — it’s easy to forget that there is at least some common ground in American politics on sex, pregnancy, marriage and abortion. Link

An Open Letter to Praise Bands: 

“Dear Praise Band,
I so appreciate your willingness and desire to offer up your gifts to God in worship. I appreciate your devotion and celebrate your faithfulness–schlepping to church early, Sunday after Sunday, making time for practice mid-week, learning and writing new songs, and so much more. Like those skilled artists and artisans that God used to create the tabernacle (Exodus 36), you are willing to put your artistic gifts in service to the Triune God.” Link