This Sunday is a special day for several reasons. For one, it is Confirmation Sunday where six young people from Redeemer will stand before God’s altar and say “yes” to what He began in their baptism, experiencing the profound mystery and gifts of Jesus’ presence in the Lord’s Supper for the very first time. What a special day, indeed! Sunday also marks the beginning of a unique time in the lives of Christians around the world called Holy Week. Traditionally, Palm Sunday begins a time of self-reflection as we journey with Jesus through the final days and hours of His earthly life, pondering all He went through for us in order to free us from our brokenness and sin. This is a journey which begins with Jesus entering triumphantly into Jerusalem sitting upon a donkey with shouts of people crying out, “Hosanna, Son of David! Save us!” For the Palm Sunday Bible reading look at John 12:12-19.
How quickly the mood changes as just a few days later the shouts of hosanna and praise turn into blood curdling screams of, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” The journey quickly moves toward a cross as crowds pressed in, meeting Him with jeers and insults. In the end, Jesus died upon that cursed tree, rejected and alone. But this is not the end of the God-filled story, which is one for another post in the near future.
This next week is a time for us to look to the cross and empty tomb to ponder all Jesus’ went through for us in His atoning work on earth. By His wound we are lavished with God’s hand of immeasurable grace through His Son, Jesus Christ as He freely chose the path of the cross in order that we might be healed and completely forgiven. This is all a gift from God, no stings attached!
The following video is the Easter story as told by two sisters. I hope and pray that the coming week is one of reflection and renewal, as together, we humbly approach the waving of palms on Palm Sunday, the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, the cross of Christ on Good Friday, and three days later, the empty tomb of Easter. It is a time loaded with emotion, sacrifice, humility, pain, rejection, and ultimately, triumph! May you know and experience the grace and freedom of our Lord Jesus Christ as found in the cross as we journey to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. I encourage you to take a moment and slow down these next few days to reflect and ponder anew what the Lord Almighty has done for you!
Sunday marks the begginning of a terribly wonderful, grace-filled journey for Jesus, that catapulted Him from Palm Sunday and the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in being rejected and hung on a cross for humanity’s sin. Yet through it all He clung to the will His Father had set out for Him to accomplish. His deep love for us would not allow any less.
Holy Week is just a few short days away and I cannot think of a better way to end this blog than with one of my favorite David Crowder songs called “How He Loves Us”. Friend, our heavenly Father loves you with a passion and desperately wants to be in a growing relationship with you. I pray that the Holy Spirit would challenge our status quo habits to shake us to our knees in humility before His cross of grace and truth. He loves you! He wants a relationship with you! If you have never known God’s love in your life, or have drifted away from a relationship with Jesus, I would love to talk with you further about what this might look like. God has a plan for you. For those who believe, the cross and tomb are the beginning and end of our journey, this moment is the exclamation mark planted firmly in the ground saying for all of creation to hear, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN! IT IS FINISHED!” It is a moment in time reminding us and demonstrates to us His all-encompassing love and grace.
He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.
Living in the shadow of His unending love,