Posted in theology

Acceptable worship pleasing to the Lord

By Elizabeth Prata

Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter Sunday. People of all stripes drove to their local church, enjoyed an Easter, and afterward people ate together in a Sunday Supper. I say people of all stripes, because it’s one day of two that unsaved family members can sometimes be pressed to join saved family members in the service. Also, Christians-in-name only attend, those would be the people who go to church twice a year, Christmas and Easter. Some people call them Chreasters, a word combining Christmas and Easter.

True Christians see the Resurrection Sunday service as a high point of the year. And why not? It’s the high point of our faith. It’s the high point of history. It’s the high point of eternity. I pray that the joy we felt in the service will be present in our hearts every day, all year. Remember the cross. Remember the resurrection. Remember the ascension. Remember He is coming again.

As I pondered these great truths in the service yesterday, I pictured the One to whom I was praying, singing, worshiping. Before the foundation of the world, Jesus submitted His will to the Father’s and accepted the task of incarnating and living among sinners, though He had no sin. He became poor for us. He was homeless for us, having left the most glorious home in the universe. He endured sorrow, rejection, betrayal, agony, crucifixion. He took God’s wrath. He died for us.

He rose again and ascended. And all to fulfill the Father’s will.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Acts 1:11,

who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

I pictured Jesus in heaven, on His throne, his enemies a footstool, accepting true worship from the true Christians from the services happening all around the world. I pictured a flood of worship from all different time zones wafting up to Him. It must have been a pleasing aroma to Him.

The first time we read of a pleasing aroma of worship is in Genesis 8, as the flood subsides.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took some of every kind of clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelled the soothing aroma… (Genesis 8:20a).

Then as Jesus died on the cross, HE became the pleasing aroma of the sacrifice in worship.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Now Jesus is on His throne, having FINISHED the work God set before Him to do. Worship is his due. It is right and proper we worship Him. Were the songs sung yesterday a pleasing aroma as the notes lifted through the air, arose above the church roof, wound through the empty tomb, ascended to the first, second, and third heavens to be pleasant in His ears? Were the prayers acceptable, focusing on HIM, HIS work, HIS glory? Were the declarations made and proclamations poured out acceptable to Him? It is right and proper to worship Him. Every day, but especially, Resurrection Sunday is HIS Day. He earned this worship, He expects this worship, He desires this worship.

Don’t picture Jesus as only on the cross, picture Him as He is now, in glory and accepting worship from His true believers.

Let us worship the King who is also the Lamb of God. Worship the High Priest who is also our gentle friend.

As Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:17, Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Author:

Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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