Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016 “Surrender At the Throne of Grace”

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)

Good Morning Children of the King of Glory!

The year was 1865…the month was April. It was Holy Week. That particular Holy Week and its events are forever etched in our American history. On Palm Sunday of that week, events began auspiciously at the farmhouse of one Wilmer Mclean in Appomattox, Virginia. Union General Ulysses S. Grant met with Confederate General Robert E. Lee to accept the terms of surrender, ending the bloodiest conflict this nation had ever known. The great Civil War had come to an end. The first battleground started in Mclean’s backyard in 1861 and ended in his parlor four years later! As was that Palm Sunday some 1800 years earlier, this was a time of jubilation. The enemy was vanquished and the nation was hopeful…but not everyone shared the same sense of jubilation.

Moving ahead to Washington, DC five days later…Good Friday. President Lincoln and his beloved Mary Todd made plans to attend a play that evening, a comedy farce entitled “Our American Cousin.” It was to be a night out to relax and reflect on the momentous events that had immediately preceded this evening of celebration. But like that Good Friday Christians commemorate to this day, it was to end in bloodshed. John Wilkes Booth made his way to the presidential box and carried out his bloody execution of one he regarded a tyrant. With a shot and a shout, Sic Sempre Tyrannis“, he carried out his heinous act. The president lingered between that great dividing line between life and death until the next day, Saturday…the day before Resurrection Day, before breathing his last on this side of the veil.

“Palm Sunday…Good Friday…and on Saturday the land lies torn, but Easter morning, the Son is out again.”  A friend of mine named Jim Sarkissian wrote those words in a song he called “Appomattox”…a reminder that death is swallowed up in victory. Lincoln died a saved man. He had given his heart to Christ.  He once reflected,

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

Not only did those prayers stay with him all his earthly life…they helped pave the road to his eternal salvation. Of all times, it was at the death of his own beloved son Willie, that Lincoln surrendered to Christ. His bride, writing to their pastor in Springfield, Illinois wrote,

“When too – the overwhelming sorrow came upon us, our beautiful bright angelic boy, Willie was called away from us, to his Heavenly Home, with God’s chastising hand upon us – he turned his heart to Christ.”   Lee surrendered at Appomattox…Lincoln at the Throne of Grace as he walked through the valley of the Shadow of Death.

Palm Sunday…Good Friday…and on Saturday the land lies torn, but Easter morning, the Son is out again!” Let’s pray!

Lord of All Times and Places; Today, as we prepare once again for the great celebration of Rsurrection Day, we are grateful for those godly mothers and fathers who continually brought us before the Throne of Grace with their prayers and their nurturing care. Thank you for the lives transformed by their faithfulness and their love. Thank you for the grace you have showered upon us, even in those times of deep despair, which may themselves be used for your glorious purposes. We praise you, loving Lord, and give you the glory this and every day. Amen!

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