Holy week, The coming of Easter
Holy week is upon us! Holy week wasn’t such a big deal to me as a child. In fact, I don’t ever remember calling it that until much later in life.
When I was a child this meant the coming of spring, promise of candy in my Easter basket and of course a new Easter dress.
Now that I’m a pastor’s wife this week has a whole new meaning! Those of you that are very involved in ministries at your churches know what I’m talking about. 😉
Holy week for us consists of our final Lenten Wednesday prayer dinner, followed by our Good Friday, and of course Easter on Sunday.
It’s a wonderful season. Full of so much meaning. This week we remember the events leading up to God’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of our sins. We celebrate Jesus breaking the chains of death that once held us all.
During our lent dinners, I am reminded of the fellowship and community we are blessed to have as a church. And not just our church! I’m reminded of the Christian Church around the world that meets with one another and encourages each other in all of their very different settings.
During the week of Christ’s death, Jesus celebrated Passover with the disciples. They broke bread and shared deep community with each other. This is when Jesus blessed us with, when he instituted, the sacrament of communion, The Lord’s Supper. Promising that when we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we remember him, we profess faith in him, and that his body and blood have made full satisfaction for all of our sins. What a blessing to break bread together at the Lord’s table, in Christian community.
On Friday evening, it’s our Good Friday service. This is one of Daniel’s favorite services, if not his favorite service of the year.
Last year we took the wooden cross and walked around the neighborhood and up the main street, praying and remembering the long walk Jesus had carrying the cross.
I love the symbolism, of this walk. The weight of what Christ carried for us. And the desire to be a reflection of the light of Jesus’ love to the community around us. After the walk, we have a somber service, where at the end we nail our sins to the cross, because in fact:
Our sins are nailed to the cross. And they are left there. They are no more.
We rejoice in Christ’s victory over sin and death. I have thought more about death these past 5 months or so than I ever have in my life. This morning I was reading John chapter 11. This is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And here I just want to share you with verses 11-15.
11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Verse 11 really hit me today. Jesus says that Lazarus has fallen asleep and he is going to awaken him. Most of the time when I’m waking someone up, I’m waking up my kids for school. Right now, it’s not too hard… I mean Asher can be a little tough. He’s not a fan of mornings! But when my kids are sleeping and I have to wake them up it’s a natural normal ‘easy’ thing.
For us death is final. Death means that a person is no longer in our lives. Death means that life with that person is over. It’s hard, it sucks, and it hurts. That fact is also reflected in John chapter 11. This is also the chapter where we read before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, that ‘Jesus wept.’ Jesus understands our grief and suffering over death. But the fact that Jesus is in fact God is so apparent to me in verse 11. Referring to death as ‘sleep’. Why?
Because Jesus knows exactly what awaits us on the other side. And physical death is most definitely not the end for us. Death doesn’t get the victory. That belongs to Christ alone.
In 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 we read
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Death has no power over Jesus, and it has no hold on those that have acknowledged Christ as their Savior.
We celebrate His victory on Easter! We are victorious is Christ.
What a week. What a time for us to step back, take some time and remember the amazing events that transpired. That have shaped and changed the Church, the Christian faith, and my life.
If you all think about us this week, pray!! It is an incredibly busy week for our family and the church.
Thank you and God bless!