Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015 “The Furnace of Affliction”

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10)

Good Morning and a Blessed Palm Sunday to everyone!

   Several years ago, a troubling song by Ed Ames gained a measure of popularity on the airways. The name of the song is “Who Will Answer?” Each verse of the song posed this provocative question after outlining some challenging situation, people going through their own “furnace of affliction.” Verse by verse…line by line…the song raised a question that actually was answered with unmistakable clarity some two thousand years ago by one who was both venerated and vilified…adored and abhorred…revered and reviled. Following are the lyrics, verse by verse, of the song…and the answer to the question:

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!, Hallelujah!

From the canyons of the mind,
We wander on and stumble blindly
Through the often-tangled maze
Of starless nights and sunless days,
While asking for some kind of clue
Or road to lead us to the truth,
But who will answer?

On a strange and distant hill,
A young man’s lying very still.
His arms will never hold his child,
Because a bullet running wild
Has struck him down. And now we cry,
“Dear God, Oh, why, oh, why?”
But who will answer?

High upon a lonely ledge,
A figure teeters near the edge,
And jeering crowds collect below
To egg him on with, “Go, man, go!”
But who will ask what led him
To his private day of doom,
And who will answer?

If the soul is darkened
By a fear it cannot name,
If the mind is baffled
When the rules don’t fit the game,
Who will answer? Who will answer? Who will answer?

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!, Hallelujah!

 

The answer to those poignant, troubling scenarios is Jesus Christ! It is He , the Chosen one of God, who bore the furious flames of the furnace on affliction in our stead. ..Jesus, the Son of God, born in the humblest of circumstances…Jesus, who heal the sick, cured the lame, made the blind to see, and raised the dead…Jesus, who rode in triumph into Jerusalem on that day we call Palm Sunday to the shouts of Hosanna, God save us!…Jesus, who was scourged, mocked, betrayed, and crucified bearing the sin of all human history…Jesus, who rose victoriously from the grave after storming the Gates of Hell itself to set the captives free. He answered. His followers have been commissioned to unequivocally respond to those situations in His mighty name, answering each of those situations with the same affirmative response. “I know the answer! I am here as his ambassador! His name is Jesus Christ, the King of Glory. Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!” Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Let’s pray!

Hosanna, King Jesus! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! Prepare my heart to give answer in every time of trial, for You are the One who came to set the captives free. You are the King of Glory! You are the Christ! You are my Sovereign and my Savior! It is in Your Name that I give answer to a world in pain and uncertainty of your unfailing love. It is to You that I make this prayer today, and throughout me life. Hallelujah, ,y Lord and my God.  Amen!

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