This is Resurrection Day! Sin has been paid for! Death has been conquered! Eternal life has been made available through faith in the risen Christ! He is Risen!
Read this stirring account from the gospel of Luke:
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?6 He is not here, but has risen.” – Luke 24:1-6
On this day of Passion Week Jesus’ lifeless body was in the tomb. For the disciples it was a day of sadness, discouragement, fear, and shattered dreams. We know, from our historical perspective, that something is about to happen that will radically change everything. Jesus will rise victoriously from the dead! The next time you experience a season of sadness, discouragement, fear, and shattered dreams – allow the resurrection of Jesus to remind you that God is able to do something that will radically change everything!
On this day of Passion Week … Jesus was crucified. 800 years prior to Jesus birth the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.“ (Isaiah 53:4-6). Jesus took the punishment for our sin that we deserve so that we might receive the eternal life that God graciously offers.
Just hours before His trial and crucifixion Jesus washed His disciple’s feet in the upper room. Afterwards Jesus said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:12-15). We see in Jesus the ultimate model of servanthood and He calls us to follow His example.
Have you ever said one thing but done another? We all have. On this day of Passion Week Judas, one of the twelve, began making plans on how he would betray Jesus. Luke writes, “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money” (Luke 22:3-5). In our walk with God we want to be those who walk in genuine loyalty to our Lord.
On this day of Passion week Jesus was teaching his disciples on the Mount of Olives. Their questions centered around Christ’s return. He told them, “stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:42-44). Let’s live each day … ready for his return.
On this day of Passion week Jesus cursed a fig tree and cleansed the temple. Why? He was addressing two issues: the lack of bearing genuine fruit and the absence of real worship. As we come into God’s presence let’s humbly allow him to examine the motives and hidden places of our heart. Express your desire to him to be a fruitful follower and a worshipper who worships in spirit and in truth.
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. What you may not know is that 600 years before Jesus’ entry, the prophet Daniel prophesied the date that Messiah would enter into Jerusalem. Bible scholars have identified the date of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as the exact date prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 9:25). Palm Sunday, therefore, is a remarkable fulfillment of Bible prophecy and another affirmation of the inspiration of Scripture and the deity of Christ.
Two years ago I recorded my, then, three year old granddaughter, Zoe, retelling the Resurrection story. I am blessed by it every time I listen. I invite you to carve out a few quiet minutes this week and allow yourself to be ministered to by the story of Easter through a child’s voice.
To those who desire to draw near to God, Peter exhorts, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20). You may need to embrace Jesus for the first time or you desire to refresh your relationship with Him. “Times of refreshing” come when we repent, turn away from our sin, and place our trust in the Living God.