Through the gate

Image: Sven Lachlan, Pixabay


The one who enters through the gate
is the shepherd of the sheep
(John 10:2; NLT).

1. May I listen,
Watch, and wait,
Until you lead me
Through the gate,
To talk with me
At Eden’s eve,
And walk with me
Beneath the trees.

2. May I listen,
Watch, and wait,
Until you guide me
Through the gate,
Then take my hand
And kneel with me
To pray, in dark
Gethsemane.

3. May I listen,
Watch, and wait,
Until you come, Lord,
Through the gate,
To roll away
The heavy stone
At Golgotha,
And take me home.

4. May I listen,
Watch, and wait,
Until you bear me
Through the gate
Of heaven,
For you’ve heard my plea,
And paid the price
To ransom me.

Image: Pete Linforth, Pixabay


References

1. Watch and listen (Ezekiel 40:4; NLT).

Wait for the Lord (Psalm 37:34; CSB).

He leads me (Psalm 23:2; NLT).

Enter through the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13; NIV).

The Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground (Genesis 2:8-9; NLT).

You were in Eden, the garden of God (Ezekiel 28:13; NLT).

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden (Genesis 3:8; NLT).

2. I will take you by the hand and guard you (Isaiah 42:6; NLT).

He guides me along right paths (Psalm 23:3; NLT).

Let us kneel before the Lord our maker (Psalm 95:6; NLT).

Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36; NLT).

He went on a little further and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

3. He, bearing his cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called, in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him (John 19:17; NKJV).

In the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus (John 19:41; NKJV).

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door (Matthew 28:1-2; NKJV).

God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself (Psalm 49:15; NIV).

4. Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43; NLT).

He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart (Isaiah 40:11; NLT).

How awesome is this place! This none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven! (Genesis 28:17; NKJV).

He has heard my plea for mercy! (Psalm 28:6; NET).

By the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:14; NLT).

I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offences like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free (Isaiah 44:22; NLT).

I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me (Psalm 71:23; NLT).

Image: Ben Burton, Pixabay

Once, you were here

Image: bluebudgie, Pixabay


💙

1. Once, you were here,
In the manger:
New-born, Lord,
And brimming with light.

2. Once, you were here,
In the garden:
Anguished and grieving,
At night.

3. Once you were here,
On the cross, Lord:
In sorrow and pain,
All alone.

4. But now you are here
In my spirit:
My Shepherd, my Saviour,
My Own.

💙


References

1. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them (Luke 2:6-7; NIV).

I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8:12; NLT).

2. They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Mark 14:32-4; NLT).

Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44; NIV).

3. They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha […] Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross (Mark 15:22,24; NLT).

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

4. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

I am the good shepherd (John 10:14; NLT).

The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world (1 John 4:14; NLT).

My beloved is mine and I am his (Song of Songs 2:16; NIV).

You help me pray

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you,
and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

1. I pray, whilst watching Mary tend
The Christ-child, born in Bethlehem.

2. I follow, and you set me free,
The Son of Man, in Galilee.

3. I cheer you, rod of Jesse’s stem:
Hosanna, in Jerusalem.

4. I go with you, and hear your plea
Lord Jesus, at Gethsemane.

5. I gaze on you, nailed to a tree:
The Son of God, at Calvary.

6. I mourn; I lost you far too soon:
Your body lies within the tomb.

7. I eat with you, and you with me:
The Risen Christ, beside the sea.

8. Then, Lord, you let me touch each wound,
And help me pray, within my room.

References

1. Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea (Matthew 2:1; NLT).

2. Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News (Mark 1:14; NLT).

3. The crowds that went before and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” […] And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” (Matthew 21:9-10; RSV).

4. Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane […] and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me” (Matthew 26:36,39; NLT).

5. When they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified him (Luke 23:33; NKJV).

6. Joseph […] took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb (Mark 15:46; NLT).

7. Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee […] They found breakfast waiting for them – fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread […] Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish (John 21:1,9,13; NLT).

8. After eight days his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut […] Then he said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into my side” (John 20:26-7; NKJV).

A Gethsemane experience

On the day of my mastectomy, as I waited on a trolley outside the anaesthetic room, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a profound terror of suffering and death, just as Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. I felt completely helpless, despairing and alone, shaking uncontrollably with cold and fear. 

Then my surgeon entered the room in blue scrubs. She must have seen at once how distressed I was, because she came straight over to me, putting her arms around me and bending down to lay her head gently on my chest. She seemed like an angel of comfort and strength. I managed to whisper, through chattering teeth, “I’m so frightened!” She didn’t even speak, but held me as I sobbed helplessly. 

After a time, realising how cold I was, she moved to stand behind me, rubbing my arms to warm me, until I was pushed into an ante-room and quickly, skilfully anaesthetised. 

That evening, after the surgery, I wept again. I felt as if I had experienced something of what Christ suffered in Gethsemane, just as those gazing at a representation of Jesus on the cross occasionally undergo the pain and utter powerlessness of his crucifixion. 

Next day, however, I realised that rather than we ordinary mortals sometimes sharing what Jesus experienced, it was, in fact, he who fully shared our primeval, human terror in the face of imminent suffering and death.

Of course, there are major differences between my experience and his. I was confronting my profound fear of anaesthesia and surgery solely for my own benefit. Jesus, on the other hand, was facing betrayal, torture and death so our sins could be forgiven. I pray that I will never cease to thank him for what he faced and endured for our sake.

 

References

My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking (Psalm 55:4-5; NLT).

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little further and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by (Mark 14:32-5; NLT).  

Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:43-4; NLT).

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7; NIV).

God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NRSV).