Sunday, April 1, 2012

Holy Week- a point of view!

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:6-11

Crucial, crux, holiday -- in these words we see even our language bowing to the essential nature of the event we remember during Lent and Easter. Good Friday is not just a day off work; it is a holy day. Easter's Resurrection could happen only after the Crucifixion, and the cross is like a crossroads in our lives. Every one of us must stand at that crux, that point requiring resolution, and must choose which way to go. The decision we make is crucial -- the crisis of our lives is resolved by our turn toward either life or death. Jesus said, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but he passed from death to life" (John 5:24).

We reveal to ourselves and others what is important to us by the way we celebrate. Is the season before Easter mainly a hassle to get to the mall and a strain on the budget purchasing clothes, candy, cards, and groceries for a big dinner? Or is it several days or weeks of considering God's work in our lives through Jesus, along with special activities to help us think about Jesus' death and resurrection?

Over the course of the Lenten and Easter season, we are remembering the lowest points of sin and the highest peaks of what God has done for us through Jesus. We have a way, the only way, to the Father through Jesus. That's worth celebrating!

Jesus said....I'm the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

And yet every year somehow it's so easy for Easter to slip up on us, and suddenly we're saying, "Oh, my goodness, it's Palm Sunday already!" Let's think of some ways to be prepared, to be waiting for Easter.

It is no small think to "proclaim the Lord's death" (1 Corinthians 11:26), which is what we are doing not just on Good Friday, but every time we eat and drink together the Lord's Supper. Jesus' suffering is very real to his people who suffer because of their faith. May we not take our Lord's death for granted. Our lives depend on it.

I don't want to aim so purposefully toward Easter that I speed unthinkingly past the cross. But at the same time, the Crucifixion -- Jesus' death -- is not the end.