The Most Exciting Week

The most exciting week for Christians is steadily approaching. This coming Sunday we will be celebrating the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem for the last Passover celebration Jesus would have here upon the earth prior to providing forgiveness for sins and reconciliation with God the Father. These next couple days are like the calm before the storm in the Christian calendar. Praise the Lord for the glorious “Son-rise” at the end of this spiritual storm! There is an interesting account that Luke records about a short guy who was despised by those in the community. Jesus made a meeting with Zacchaeus on His journey to Jerusalem for the last time that is significant for us to understand as we too prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. “2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”             8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”             9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:2-10, NKJV). Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem to be brutally beaten and die one of the most horrific deaths a person could ever suffer. Yet, Jesus’ focus was never centered on Himself or what He was experiencing. Jesus had His mind and focus always set upon the one thing: “…the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” What was lost? Jesus came to repair the relationship that was lost between God the Father and His creation when mankind chose to rebel against God (Genesis 3). The only way that relationship could be restored was for God’s wrath on sin to be satisfied and justice served. This meant that a perfect sacrifice, blameless, spotless, and perfect had to be made on behalf of rebellious mankind. Therefore, Jesus, the Messiah of God, God in the flesh, came into the world as a human to be the sacrificial Lamb of God to take people’s place and suffer the full wrath of God. Jesus’ time from birth to death was Him working to reveal the truth of God’s character and an illustration of what He was going to do in bringing salvation from the wrath of God through His eventual death. Jesus’ concern was for a man who was hated by the community where he lived, despised by those who appeared to be his friends, and used to get what they wanted for themselves without any genuine care for him at all. It is easy for followers of Christ to get so caught up in what they are going through, their personal sufferings, and challenges of living as a disciple of Christ in a sinful world that the focus of sharing Christ with others is nearly lost. The point of following Jesus is not to have an easier life. On the contrary, following Jesus makes life more complicated and difficult with struggles internally; yet, so rewarding and uplifting as we point others to the joy of the Lord’s salvation that they have found. Holy Week, as it has become known, is how mankind can be holy and live a life that is holy as God is holy because of the sufferings, beatings, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Apostle Paul say that, “…if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 15:14, NKJV). Next week is the celebration of the culmination of Jesus’ entire ministry on behalf of mankind. It is the power, purpose, and point of all that the Church does and ought to be doing in this world. Easter is not “just another” or “one of” the Christian holidays. It is the celebration of the most significant event in all of history! Praying beyond the physical: Father, show me my need for You daily so at no time will I take my salvation from Your wrath for granted. Jesus, remind me of Your sufferings on my behalf to be able to offer me forgiveness of my sins. Spirit, overwhelm me with the reality of the power of Christ’s resurrection so Christ will be seen in me.   Pastor Tom

Leave a Reply