On this episode of Isolation Eats: Quick Bites, we’re exploring the delicious possibilities of frozen hash browns combined with other items in our fridge and pantry. Eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him. Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” John 12:27-32 (NLT)
Dear Lord Jesus, as the events of “Easter Week” began to unfold, the exuberant “Hosannas” gave way to the great disturbance in your soul—no hesitation, but profound consternation. No surprises awaited you, just an overwhelming assignment—one that you helped plan before the world began (Eph. 1:3-14). Within days, you would take the judgment we deserve to give us the grace we can never earn. Your “bruised heel” (Gen. 3:15) would crush the head of the “ruler of this world” and cast him down in defeat (Jn. 12:30).
You gladly paid the price for the salvation of God’s immense covenant family—children of grace, redeemed from every nation, tribe, people, and language; daughters and sons of mercy, as numerous as the stars in the sky, the sand of the beaches, and the dust of the earth (Gen. 12-17). Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!
It was for this purpose you came from eternity into time and space. For this very reason you emptied yourself of your glory by taking the form of a servant-man—the Lord’s Servant. To this end you became obedient—even to death on the cross (Phil. 2:5-11). Understandably so, Lord Jesus, your heart was overwhelmed on that Monday.
As the events of our week now unfold, grant us grace to slow our pace and quiet our hearts, that we might survey the wonders of your sacrifice and the riches of your love for us. May our boasting in your cross grow exponentially, demonstratively, and joyfully. So very Amen we pray, in your holy and grace-full name.
As he [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42
Dear Lord Jesus, everything about Holy Week reveals the depth of your compassion for sinful, broken people like me. The tears you wept coming into Jerusalem—even the anger you showed in driving the money changers out of the temple—every encounter, parable, and action underscores the truth and beauty of the Apostle Paul’s words,
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8).
Paul was writing about me. I am the powerless, ungodly sinner for whom you died—a demonstration of God’s incomparable and irrepressible love for the ill-deserving. I wasn’t a God seeker; I was God’s enemy—a rebel, fool and idolater, when you reconciled me to him through your death on the cross (Rom. 5:10). May I never believe otherwise. My salvation is all of grace—from beginning to end.
I would still be blind to what, alone, brings me peace if you hadn’t opened my eyes to see my need of you and your death for me. The gospel would still remain hidden from my eyes unless you had given me sight to behold you as the Lamb of God who takes away my sin, and the sin of the world. I can’t condescendingly sneer at a single Pharisee, Sadducee, priest, teacher of the law, or anyone else who tried to trick or trap you during Holy Week. For I am just as worthy of judgment as they.
How I long for the Day when I will no longer even be tempted to look for peace, joy and fulfillment, anywhere else but in you, Lord Jesus. I increasingly yearn for the Day when I will see you as you are and will be made like you (1 John 3:1-3). This is my great hope, deep longing and grand assurance.
Until then, keep healing the eyes of my heart of all spiritual myopia, astigmatism, or anything else that keeps me from seeing the magnificence of your glory and the full measure of your grace. So very Amen I pray, in your tenacious and tender name.
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ?” Matt. 22:41-42
Dear Lord Jesus, on this Wednesday of Holy Week, we praise and bless you for the privilege of knowing you, loving you and serving you. And the question you directed to Pharisees, just before your death and resurrection, you still put before us: “What do you think about the Christ?” There’s no more important question for us to wrestle with, in any season of life.
Jesus, continue to free us from all wrong notions we have about you—those generated in our fallen hearts; the ones that come to us from Satan—the father of lies; others which reveal the wrong and incomplete teaching we’ve received through the years.
But what do I think about you today, Lord Jesus? What do I believe in my heart? You are everlasting God, and I am a mere man. I would despair if you were anything less, and I am weary of trying to be more. You are the Creator, Sustainer, and Restorer of all things. You don’t just care about my soul; you care about everything you have made.
You are the Second Adam—our substitute in life and in death. You lived a life of perfect obedience for us, and you exhausted God’s judgment that stood against us. By you, we’ve been completely forgiven, and in you, we’ve been declared perfectly righteousness. You are our impassioned Bridegroom, and we are your beloved Bride. You are the reigning and returning King—committed to making all things new. Lord Jesus, you are all this and so much more. Eternity will be an endless revelation of your glory and grace.
But during this Holy Week, what stuns me the most, as I think about you, it is realize that you are always thinking about us. We are in your heart and on your mind all the time. You’re always praying and advocating for us before the Father. You know us the best, and yet love us the most. How peace-giving joy-fueling! With fresh gratitude and awe, we worship you. So very Amen, we make our prayer, in your holy and grace-full name.
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. John 13:1
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Lord Jesus, as I meditate and pray my way through these Scriptures, quite literally, I’m undone. What but the gift of faith can enable us to grasp the wonder of these words and the magnificence of this moment? What but the power of the gospel can enable us to believe and obey them? Grant us both, I pray, grant me both.
On our calendar we call this day, Maundy, or Mandate Thursday. A day in the history of redemption brimming over with glory and grace. On this day in Holy week, Passover became the Lord’s Supper—your supper. The promises of the Old Covenant would soon be fulfilled by the blood of the New Covenant—your blood. Having shared eternal glory with your Father, you showed stunning grace to your disciples. Having loved this rag-tag bunch of broken men—who squabbled with each other hours earlier for positions of honor; who within a few hours, would all scatter and deny you—having loved them so well for so long, you then showed them the full extent of your love. You loved them to the end. You loved them through and through.
Your disrobing to wash their feet was with a full view to your being stripped naked to wash their hearts, and our hearts. Indeed, the measure of your love isn’t just the basin and towel of the upper room, but your cross and death on Calvary’s hill. What wondrous love is this indeed—how wide, long, high and deep?
Thus you command us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” This is the new and never-ending mandate we live under as your disciples—a mandate, not a suggestion. There is no greater love than the love you have for us, none. And there is no clearer evidence of our love for you than the way we love each other.
Jesus, we acknowledge and grieve the multiple ways we love poorly—in our churches, in our families, in our communities. We offer no lame excuses and make no empty promises. As you continue to convince our unbelieving, dull hearts of your great love for us, convict us, humble us and love through us to your glory. So very Amen, we pray, in your holy and passionate name, on this Maundy Thursday.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 (NIV)
Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt. 27:46 (NIV)
“It is finished.” John 19:30 (NIV)
Lord Jesus, it’s hard not to feel conflicted about calling the day of your crucifixion “good.” That there had to be a day when you—the eternally glorious, righteous, loving Son of God, would be made sin for us, is not good at all. But at the same time,that you would freely and gladly give yourself for us on the cross is never-to-be surpassed goodness. It is quintessential goodness.
From the cross and your heart, came these two impassioned cries. “Father forgive them” (Luke 23:34) and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). The first required the second. The second secured the first. Together, they humble our hearts, silence our words, and fuel our worship.
And then there’s the third cry. “It is finished.” Nothing is left undone, concerning our salvation and for the transformation of our world. Once and for all, perfectly and fully, we have been reconciled to God. You became sin for us, than in you, we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21)—the Just for the unjust, the Beautiful One for the broken ones, the Lamb of God for the rebels from God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
A millions years into our life in the new heaven and new earth, we’ll still be filled with childlike wonder and ceaseless gratitude, for your sacrifice and love for us. Because you were fully forsaken, we are forever forgiven. Because you exhausted God’s judgment against our numberless sins, we now live by the gift of your perfect righteousness. We bow our heads in awe and raise our hands in praise. So very Amen we pray, in your all-glorious, all-grace-full name.