The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart’s greatest celebration. It is the highest note in our songs of triumph, and the loudest echo in our shouts of praise. It takes us to the depths of our heart’s true joys, and causes our hope to climb to new heights. It brings wings to our faith and courage to our souls. It is victory’s banner, and freedom’s proclamation. It is the great Yes to all the promises of God.
At the manger we celebrate why Jesus came for us, at the cross we celebrate what He did or us, and at the empty tomb we celebrate all that He has for us.
What ought to make worship delightful to us is not, in the first instance, its novelty or its aesthetic beauty, but its object: God Himself is delightfully wonderful, and we learn to delight in him.
—D.A. Carson, Worship by the Book, 30
The Lord’s Supper was never conceived in the early Church, as it came to be by some in later times, as a solemn wake held in sad remembrance of One who died. From the beginning it was a meal of fellowship, dominated by thanksgiving offered in praise, wonder, and adoration of the Lord of life who had broken the bonds of death and was alive for evermore, really and eternally present with His people.
—William D. Maxwell, Concerning Worship, 14
I beg you to rejoice in this near approach of Christ to us. Ring out the glad bells, if not in the spires and steeples, yet within your own hearts; for gladder news did never greet your ear than this, that He that is the Son of God was also made of a woman.
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon, sermon “The Great Birthday and Our Coming of Age”
Our worship is a thankful, joyful appropriation of Christ and of His Worship of the Father, through the Spirit, so that all that is of Christ is ours by Grace through the Spirit.
—David W. Torrance, “The Word of God in Worship,” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 1 (1983):12
From the Heidelberg Catechism (1563):
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
ANSWER:That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to work for him.
What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such a deliverance.