Wednesday, April 20, 2011

104. Easter Reflection. (plus Nigeria)

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 104 | Wed 20 April 2011

- By Elizabeth Kendal

When contemplating persecution, consider him. (Hebrews 12:3)

Consider Him.

Does persecution bite;
does fear consume your night?
Consider him.
Does tribulation strain;
does mocking sore inflame?
Consider him.
Consider him who crown of thorns did humbly wear; [1]
Despised, rejected, spat on, was stripped bare; [2]
Unrecognised, object of scorn, Unfair! [3]
Consider him.

Can those who hate you strike;
take jobs, possessions, life?
Consider him.
Can government forsake;
injustice overtake?
Consider him.
Consider him who bore the blows and took the lash; [4]
Falsely accused, betrayed, abused in purple sash; [5]
At Golgotha, nailed to a cross, with Satan clashed; [6]
Consider him.

Does righteousness take fright;
does hope fade out of sight?
Consider him.
Does fear grip heart and head;
strike hands and knees like lead?
Consider him.
Consider him who with his gaze on heaven's home, [7]
Endured the cross, despised the shame for promised throne; [8]
Consumed with love, propelled by faith alone; [9]
Consider him.

When evil seems supreme,
and rest seems like a dream;
Consider him.
When enemies grow bold,
when shrouds seem to enfold;
Consider him.
Consider him whose violent death bruised serpent's head; [10]
Who third day, shroud removed, rose from the dead; [11]
Arisen, King of Love victorious, as he said; [12]
Consider him!

". . .let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary of fainthearted." (Hebrews 12:1c-3 ESV)

[1] Mark 15:16-20
[2] Isaiah 53:3; Matt 27:28-30, Psalm 22:18
[3] John 1:11; Luke 22:63-65; Psalm 22:6; Isaiah 53:9

[4] Matt 26:67; Matt 27:26
[5] Matt 26:59-60; Luke 22:47-48; John 19:2, 5
[6] John 19:16-18; Matt 27:39-44; Heb 13:12

[7-9] Hebrews 12:2

[10] Gen 3:15; Col 2:13-15; Rev 5:6-14
[11] John 20; Isaiah 25:7-8
[12] Matthew 12:40; 16:21; 17:22-23; & John 2:18-22



Nigeria's Middle Belt state of Kaduna is under curfew after Muslims launched a violent and destructive anti-Christian pogrom in response the news that Goodluck Jonathan (a Southern Christian) had overwhelmingly won the presidential race. Jonathan secured more than 22.6 million votes; almost double that of his nearest rival Muhammadu Buhari (a Northern Muslim). While the elections have been widely lauded and transparent, free and fair, Buhari has rejected the results, claiming gross irregularities. Muslims also rioted in the northern states of Sokoto, Gombe, Yobe, Niger, Bauchi, Katsina, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Borno, Taraba and Adamawa. In Maiduguri, the capital of Borno Sate, it took the military and police over four hours to reign in rampaging Buhari supporters. The re-scheduled gubernatorial elections will be held on 26 April. Tensions will be especially high in the religious fault-line cities of Kaduna and Jos. Please pray.