Good Friday 2013

Today, we commemorate Jesus’ last living day before He died and ultimately raised Himself from the dead.  The day is known as “Good Friday”.  And what a good Friday it was!

Two songs by Dustin Kensrue immediately come to mind that allude to the biblical accounts of the first Good Friday: “The Great Exchange” and “Listen Through Me”.

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“The Great Exchange” (on Beggars by Thrice)

Quite simply, this is one of Dustin’s greatest works, lyrically-speaking.  He tells the story of how Jesus (the “captain”) died in place of sinners (the “enemies”) and, thus, bridged the chasm between Holy God and sinful man – the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement.  More to the point on this Good Friday, the last verse essentially refers to the traditional seventh word (“Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit”) and subsequent death of Christ in Luke 23:46:

I thought I must be dead or dreaming,
When my captain – still battered, betrayed –
Pulled me up, laid me over the beam he’d clung to,
Breathed his last, and sank under the waves.

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“Listen Through Me” (on Major/Minor by Thrice)

I love that this song was included on Major/Minor.  It was Dustin’s opportunity to basically share the Gospel on a Thrice record – and, as with his other works, he did it well!  The second pre-chorus stands out, with its direct reference to John 19:30:

The shadows all had flown clung
In the light diminished;
He emptied out his lungs,
Crying, “It is finished!”

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Have a blessed Good Friday, as you remember what Jesus did for the sake of sinners past, present, and future!

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Update on 3/29/2013 at 11:56: Corrected lyrics to “Listen Through Me” to “The shadows all had clung” – thanks to Dustin himself for the correction via Twitter!

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“Get down from that fence, and bless or curse!”

I am unsure of where this is all going, really.  All I know is this: Jesus is my life, and one person used by God to consistently point me to the cross was one Dustin Michael Kensrue.

Many of you who have followed Dustin from the earliest days of Thrice through his solo career and now his work with The Modern Post – you all probably learned more Christian theology from listening to his songs than you did listening to sermons at church or lectures at a Christian school.  OK, that was one really long run-on sentence…my apologies!

I started this up as a tribute to Dustin Kensrue.  Actually, it started with a Twitter account: @DK_Theology.  The idea of “School of Theology” was kind of random, actually.  But it fits, doesn’t it?  I mean, how many of us have had to use a dictionary whilst listening to a Thrice album?  And even better, how many of us have had the eyes of our respective hearts opened to the Gospel, simply by hearing the well-thought words from a Kensrue musical creation?

I don’t know Dustin personally – though, I’ve imagined what I would say and what questions I would ask, should I ever have the privilege of meeting him – but I know he would want all of the praise to be deflected heavenward to his Savior.  And that’s the aim: to bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ through thoughtful analysis of brother Dustin’s works.

Some of you reading this right now might be interested in Jesus but not fully committed to following Him.  Listen to the exhortation from Dustin: “Sparing no expense, He made recompense for all the earth.  This story’s an offense, so get down from that fence, and bless or curse!” (from “Listen Through Me” on Major/Minor).  Jesus Himself said, in essence, “If you are not for Me, you are really against Me.”  (See Matthew 12:30 and Revelation 3:16.)

The most important issue you need to sort out in this life is the issue of Jesus.  Who is He to you?  To borrow from C.S. Lewis, is Jesus a liar, a lunatic, or your Lord?  Only by God’s grace can anyone come to saving faith in Jesus.  I don’t know if anyone has tracked stats (except God Himself), but I am positive that God has saved some through Dustin Kensrue’s works.

That’s my prayer, really: that Christians would be further equipped for service; that non-Christians would be saved through faith in Christ; and that those “on the fence” would, in fact, bless or curse Jesus Christ.

I hope you will enjoy what little I have to contribute to the Kingdom.  God bless you, Dustin, for all you’ve done for me personally and to many others through your music!