Jesus came on a rescue mission for you and me. This week we celebrate and remember the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. Take a walk with me from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday. Feel the weight of each day and remember you are loved and never beyond God's reach.
Palm Sunday: How quickly the shouts turned from “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” to “crucify.” Through it all, Jesus remained focused on the mission before him.
This Palm Sunday, we can do the same thing. Focus on Jesus. Worship Jesus. Open your heart to Jesus. Pursue the mission God has set before you.
The crowds will come and go. Jesus never changes.
Holy Monday: Jesus confronted the religious leaders of his day and made clear the priorities of God.
“Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY house shall be called A house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den” (Mathew 21:12-13).
Jesus was and is serious about holiness. Why and how we do things are as important as what we actually do. I am always challenged by the events of Monday. This is a day that invites soul searching. It is easy to fall into the pattern of acceptable religious activity and miss the heart of the gospel- a changed and surrendered life fully devoted to Jesus.
Holy Tuesday: On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus had several encounters with the religious leaders.
Questions were asked.
Plans were formulated.
Traps were set.
Jesus never missed a beat. He even asked a few questions himself. Jesus knew the cross was quickly approaching. The time had come to lay down his life. There was tension in the air. Jesus was navigating a hostile environment. In the midst of the tension and hostility, Jesus reminded the religious leaders of the most important commandment.
What a beautiful truth. Love being proclaimed from the middle of the mess. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are pictures of God’s tangible and demonstrated love. In the midst of the brokenness and confusion of life, God’s love is real and available to you!
Holy Wednesday: One of Jesus’ close friends sold him for 30 pieces of silver. If you have been betrayed, you know how it feels.
Judas and his life defined betrayal. To make it even more “real,” Jesus was betrayed by Judas with a kiss.
Another of Jesus’ close friends lavishly poured oil on Jesus’ body to prepare him for burial. Mary loved Jesus. Mary was introduced in Scripture as the one who sat at Jesus' feet, listening to what he said. Mary and her life defined lavish love.
Two friends. Two lives Two different directions.
The posture of each heart led to the actions they took. On this Holy Wednesday, how is the posture of your heart? Do you lavishly love Jesus, or do you betray Jesus (knowingly or unknowingly) with a kiss?
Holy Thursday: The phrase “Upside Down Kingdom” describes the teachings of Jesus and the life of New Testament believers.
Love instead of hate.
Forgive instead of resent.
Serve instead of being served.
Surrender instead of hanging on.
On Thursday of Holy Week, everything was upside down. Imagine Jesus bowing down and washing his disciple's feet, painting a picture of the sacrifice to come. The Son of God dying in our place.
In a true upside-down way, death was going to lead to life. Thursday was setting the stage for it all. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Good Friday really was good, even though it was heavy and hard. The impact of sin was paid in full by Jesus. Let us never forget that no one took Jesus' life. He gave it up for you and me.
That is love.
That is mercy.
That is grace.
Good Friday was hard in every way. Death. Sin. Defeat. Betrayal. Lies. Compromise. Sin is serious but Praise God; sin is never greater than our God and His redeeming love.
It's Friday, but Sunday is coming!
Silent Saturday: Jesus' followers probably felt alone, defeated, hopeless, and afraid following His death. They had given their lives to follow Him. They had hopes, dreams, and plans. Then death came and snatched it all away.
Have you been there? Maybe you are there right now. The silence of Saturday can be deafening. Hang on. God is in control. The Light will overcome the darkness.
"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and shield. In him, our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:20-22
Grief turned to joy.
Despair turned to hope.
Darkness turned to Light.
Jesus crushed Satan.
Life changed forever.
Death was defeated.
Sin was conquered.
Jesus is Alive!
On this special Sunday, may we remember and celebrate life. The life that can't be snatched by death, disease, or dismay. The life found in Jesus. Only Jesus.
He is Risen. He is Risen, indeed!