Resurrection Sunday

Jesus, resurrection

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24 ESV)

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Thoughts on Holy Week: Good Friday

good friday

If this is the day Jesus died, why is today good?

In the sense it is used good means holy when we say Good Friday. It is also called Great Friday, Holy Friday and Easter Friday in other traditions around the world. This is the day we commemorate Jesus as the atoning sacrifice. Holy Week is a time of preparation and consecration that seeks to take things one step at a time. Don’t jump ahead to the celebration; today is about the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Today we observe the crucified savior. If you’ve been reading the Gospel accounts all week, save that last chapter for Sunday. Continue reading

Thoughts on Holy Week: Consecration

Consecrate – make or declare something sacred; dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose.

Holy Week is a time to fully devote ourselves for a specific religious purpose, which is celebrating the death, burial and resurrection. Old Testament priests were consecrated for their service in the tabernacle, and all the congregation of Israel consecrated themselves for three days before meeting God at Sinai. That time of preparation for a special encounter is exactly what Holy Week is about. Like the Advent season before Christmas Day, Holy Week is a period of time during which we prepare for a special worship celebration. We take special care to draw near to God (James 4:8) as he draws near to us. Continue reading

Thoughts on Holy Week: Prayers of Jesus

Jesus prayingThe Bible records several different occasions on which Jesus prayed. He taught the disciples to pray, though the Lord’s Prayer is something of a misnomer; we should rightly call that the Model Prayer or even the Disciples Prayer. Jesus always spent extra time in prayer before a big event, sometimes praying all night. He regularly went out alone very early each morning to pray, and even though he had some harsh words regarding public prayer we have a few of his prayers recorded, including the High Priestly Prayer of John 17. But every year at this time there is always one in particular I come back to. Continue reading

Thoughts on Holy Week: The Gospel of John

JohnThe synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – tell the story of Jesus’ life in a narrative form. Everything in Mark can be found in either Matthew or Luke, and many events can be found in all three. The Olivet Discourse, for example, occurs during Holy Week and begins in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. John’s Gospel is different. Continue reading

Thoughts on Holy Week: Hindsight is 20/20

hindsight-rear-view-future-past-road-mirrorThere is an old saying about Hindsight being 20/20. Thinking back on past events allows a clearer perspective than being in the midst of the present. It’s easy to imagine how we might have handled a particular situation, or to criticize others for what they they did wrong. It has to do with perspective. Being in the heat of the moment is not the same as looking at cold stats. Watching a game from the stands offers a different vantage point than being on the field. It also takes away pressure to perform, adrenaline rush and the intimidation factor of the opposing team. Your team always win when you coach from the recliner. The same is true when watching the game film. We’ve all heard people say “I wish I knew then what I know now.” Continue reading

Thoughts on Holy Week: The Human Experience

star trekThe original Star Trek cast was an ensemble group of races and nationalities. Among them was the half human half Vulcan Mr. Spock. The conflict of the Spock character allowed the writers to explore some aspects of just what it means to be human. His desire was often to deny his humanity and become fully Vulcan, which he found difficult due to his human nature. Star Trek the Next Generation introduced us to Lt. Commander Data who, though a sentient being, was technically not even alive. The android character constantly worked to become more than his programming, finding that some aspects of humanity were always beyond his grasp. Data explored what it means to be human as he struggled to be more human, while Spock had worked to be less so. Continue reading

Palm Sunday

HosannaHosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Today is Palm Sunday. This day on the Christian calendar we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week. Please refer to this post from 2010 as I just don’t think I can do any better. Perhaps this week I can write some new things as we prepare for Easter.