Holy week walkin’

Friday, March 30, 2018

I invite you to take a walk with me, to experience Jesus’ last week of earthly life. On Palm Sunday, he was hailed as a king. In Matthew 21:5 we read, “Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey--riding on a donkey's colt.”

There were two parades that day: one honoring Caesar Augustus as ruler, with all the pomp and circumstance, symbolizing power and control. In sharp contrast, Jesus rode into town on a donkey, a lowly beast of burden.

It’s one thing to cast demons out of people; heal the lame, blind and afflicted. However, to raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus, you went too far. You “let the cat out the bag.” Those in charge are not ready to share their power with you. Enough is enough, and too much has gotten you killed.

We’re not talking about just a regular death. You died the cruelest death possible, reserved for those ba-bad to the bone. Here you are, Jesus, nailed to a cross, with huge spikes through your wrists and ankles. Every time you tried to lift yourself to breathe, the pain intensified. You were slowly suffocating. You became a curse because, according to Galatians 3:13, “cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree.”

Here it is Friday, not just any Friday, but “Good Friday.” What’s good about someone dying? Why call it “good?” I’m glad you asked!

On this particular Friday, more than 2,000 years ago, this man called Jesus died. He was innocent. He had done nothing wrong. He died for you, for me, for the whole world. Not only did he take our sin; He became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). But that makes no sense.

John 3: 16 tells us the reason: Love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have everlasting life.” How much is so? I wish I knew the answer, but I don’t. All I know is, it’s so wide, so deep, so tall, you can’t escape.

Like the two men on the way to Emmaus, when he died, our dreams, hopes of a Savior to rescue us also died. The disciples went back to their old way of doing things. Peter denied him, and went back to fishing.

Yet, don’t give up hope, because that’s not the end of the journey. In fact, it’s the beginning. He died at 3 p.m. on Friday. Jesus laid in the tomb. It seemed like all hope of him rescuing the people from Roman rule was gone. He went to hell and took Satan and all his demon helpers and imps captive.

We are in preparation for Easter, buying new clothes, new food, new Easter eggs and new candy. But that’s not where the real newness comes from. It comes from newness of life. We have newness in our relationship with Jesus. He wants to forget the past, and start anew with you. He wants to trade our sorrows, our sickness, our pain, our loneliness, for his everlasting presence with us.

Let us consider saying “YES, Lord” to his offer. He promises that he will never ever leave us alone. He will walk with us and talk with us, and tell us we are his own.

Hold on! Resurrection Day is coming soon. But let’s not skip over the pain, suffering and the passion of our Lord. Unless we feel and get in touch with the pain, we cannot experience the overwhelming joy of freedom from the bondage of sin. God took the pain of the cross, and exchanged it for the joy of the resurrection.

On Sunday morning when you get up, arise to new life in Jesus Christ. Thank him for new life and new beginnings.

Then remember:

Every morning is Easter morning from now on.

Every day’s Resurrection Day,

The past is over and gone.

Yesterday I was bored and lonely, but today look and see.

I belong to the Easter people; life’s exciting to me.

Shout:

Every morning is Easter morning;

(Louder)

Every morning is Easter morning;

(Shout from the mountain top)

Every morning is Easter morning;

From now on!

Prayer: May you know the richness of God’s love. May you fall in love with him over and over again, and feel his presence every step of life’s journey. Praise and thank Jehovah Jireh for all your provisions. Claim our God’s healing for all of your diseases.

Be blessed! Amen.