As we approach this Holy Week….
Palm Sunday – Jesus’ Triumphal Entry
Maundy Thursday – Celebrated with Foot Washing and the Last Supper
Good Friday – Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the Cross for our Sins
We wait 3 days until…..
Easter – Jesus is Risen! Risen Indeed!
Think on this…
Jesus Christ said:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NIV
Consider these questions…
How can I be sure I would lay down my life to be a disciple of Jesus? What keeps me from doing what God has called me to do? What gets in the way?
Then…fill in the blanks…
If I’m not willing to _________ so that I can _________ ….
I can be equally sure that I won’t give up my life.
I would love to hear what you come up with, if you feel like sharing.
We had a great day with friends and family on Easter! Louis’ church has a lovely tradition of decorating a cross with flowers. We brought it home to bless SBH by placing it on the front porch for all to enjoy! Some neighbors invited us for a cookout of all kinds of goodness! Ms. G (Frank’s mom) came by for a visit and my family came over for traditional Easter dinner consisting of Lamb with lots of tomatoes and onions plus all the sides of mashed tators, green beans, etc. I’m thankful for all of my neighbors, friends and family!
As you know, Louis and I had only known each other about 5 weeks at this point. I went from “not sure if I like him” to “when are you all getting married?” in a little over a month! We went from seeing each other weekly to every day. I had prayed for the other ½ of my pair as told in Luke 10:1-7, and it looked like that God had just maybe provided that answer. But, we know that when you are walking in the will of God and He is using you mightily, Satan is not going to take kindly to that at all.
Word about what had happened and what we were doing was making its way through the Christian community in and around Metro Richmond. Again, we are so thankful for the many, many prayers that those communications and emails brought our way. It didn’t take long for Satan to raise his ugly head in the form of a character attack. For a short period of time, this attack distracted us from serving and loving on Frank and his family like we had been called to do and discouraged us a bit. But, Louis and I worked through that…through the grace of God, a lot of prayer and the love of some trusted friends. We are better for having gone through that challenge.
Know that Satan and his army will go ALL OUT to tear us down and to keep us from walking in Truth. Today, I was reading John 10:1-21 and was reminded that Jesus is the Gate and the Good Shepherd. Satan may seek to steal, kill and destroy, but, my Jesus says…
9 “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 …My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” He also says…18 “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
As I reflect, this Holy Week…on this Maundy Thursday (the day of Judas’ betrayal, the Last Supper and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples)…the day before Jesus was hung on that cross, that I am so thankful for His voluntary sacrifice. But, as we approach resurrection, I have JOY!!! JOY!!! JOY!!! that He has the authority to lay down His life, but He also took it back up again!!! He died for me…O’ wretched sinner that I am. So, that in his resurrection I can live a “rich and satisfying life” where I am alive, free, and forgiven.
Today is Saturday and I am writing this post for tomorrow, because I have time today and probably won’t tomorrow. But…by the time this posts and you read it….tomorrow will be today.
Today is Palm Sunday, so I started reflecting on that and reading about it in the Bible. The beginning of Matthew 21 tells the story of how Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Large crowds gathered…laying down their robes and others cut down branches of palm trees and spread them on the road. All while shouting:
Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!!!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!!!
This is why we celebrate Palm Sunday. Many refer this event as the Triumphal Entry. I looked up the meaning of triumphal on www.dictionary.com and learned that it is an adjective meaning of, pertaining to, celebrating, or commemorating a triumph or victory. At first glance, this might be referred to as the Victory Circle! I don’t know much about Nascar. But I do know that the winner of the race typically does a couple of donuts before he revs up to the Winner’s Circle to receive his prize.
But…Jesus…He rode in on a DONKEY! The King…the Messiah…rode in on a donkey, NOT a stallion, showing humility. That might be like a driver calmly parking the car and walking over to the circle.
He enters into Jerusalem on a donkey on a carpet of cloaks and palm branches…not a red carpet. The TV crews weren’t there publizing and critiquing the suit he wore or what designer created it for him.
But…the crowds…they did gather and they did scream! They screamed Hosanna! Hosanna! Which basically means SAVE US! SAVE US! Dictionary.com defines it as (an exclamation, originally an appeal to God for deliverance, used in praise of God or Christ.)
And that is why Jesus came to earth. In John 12:47 Jesus says:
“….For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.”
As I read the paper, watch the news, look out my front door into Southern Barton Heights and look at myself in the mirror. I, too, scream today…. HOSANNA! HOSANNA! I know that I live victoriously because of God’s abundant grace. But when I think of the events of these last few weeks in the nation, the world, and in my own life….I find myself also screaming to the top of my lungs….
SAVE US! SAVE US!
Because I know that ONLY HE can save us…save me…