This is often referred to as “Holy Week.” And rightly so. The days preceding our celebration of Christ’s glorious resurrection ought to be marked by powerful remembrances of the saving gospel of our Lord Jesus! By the middle of the fourth century, many of our traditions related to this week were already established within the Church.
Why is Christ’s passion so important? For starters, it’s because that’s exactly what Christ demonstrated. That word “passion” can be found in Acts 1:3, where the Scriptures record that Jesus presented himself alive after his suffering …
My point is that there can be no real celebration of Christ’s resurrection without a real acknowledgment of Christ’s suffering and death. Every day mattered that week, and every day matters this week. On Palm Sunday, as Jesus rode into Jerusalem, every minute was packed with potent symbolism of King Jesus and His reign of peace. On Monday Jesus cleansed the temple, again demonstrating His kingdom authority and His unquestionable Lordship over every nation. And on it went. Thursday would include the Lord’s Supper, connecting the first Passover with our own deliverance from bondage. But every moment raced toward the sacrificial death of Christ.
And that would come on Friday: “Good Friday” as we often refer to it. On Calvary’s Cross, Jesus was forsaken so that you and I won’t be forsaken! By the shedding of Christ’s own blood, a new and eternal covenant would be ratified on our behalf. Commenting on this grand reality, Dr. D. A. Carson calls this moment “the fusion of divine, royal prerogative and Suffering Servant.” Wow!
If I want to get the most out of this week, I must REHEARSE the gospel. The old song got it right: “Jesus paid it all.” All. I contribute nothing but desperate need. Another old song went like this: “He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay.”
If I want to get the most out of this week, I must REFLECT upon my own need for a Savior. The Cross of Christ is my reminder that I’m not O.K., and it’s your reminder that neither are you. We need a new justice, a new righteousness, and a new power for living.
If I want to get the most out of this week, I must RECOGNIZE the inauguration of a new humanity. Christ’s resurrection is hope for me because the living Church – Christ’s own bride – is the most incredible reality on earth! Every time we gather, you and I can enjoy a taste of heaven.
If I want to get the most out of this week, I must REMEMBER my own finiteness. I’ll say it like this, simply: they would lay down their palms, but He would lay down His life.
If I want to get the most out of this week, I must RESPOND to the grace of God. Worship is in order, friends. What else could we do upon hearing and believing such good news?
If I want to get the most out of this week, I must REJOICE in my being numbered forever among the redeemed! Yes, “Fusion Friday” does put me squarely in my place. But there’s nowhere else that I would rather be.
I look forward to seeing you Friday evening at 6:30 in our worship center.