These are the lines that have been used for many years as we look at this weekend.
On one day, Jesus entered the city. People called for Him to become King. (He already was but they did not catch that!) On another day, He taught in the Temple. More believed on Him. Some were people who saw His friend come to life after being dead for four days! An other day, He and His close friends sat down for the Passover Dinner and He expressed His love for them, teaching them it is better to serve. He did this by example. He washed their feet.
He took some bread and wine and re-discovered for them the New Meaning of these common food things. His Body. His Blood. He was going to die. He was going to be killed.
In fact, one of the 12 left to betray Him for a few coins.
Then, He took them to a garden party. Not your regular party, no, this one was a deep prayer meeting but He was the only one who was in prayer. His 11 fell asleep while He fought a big battle, stepping on the head of Satan and offering Himself--as His Father wished--to be the paid ransom for our sins and gave Glory to His Father in obedience said, "Not My will but Yours!"
Then the 'friend' came up to Him and with a kiss, turned on Him. The took Him away. As one account says, He even healed the cut off ear of one of those who came to arrest Him. Always the Healer, Jesus then was taken, beaten, and was torn apart (His flesh) in a very illegal arrest before a very angry mob. They took Him to the leader (because they had no real power -in truth, no power at all) to put Him to death. The Roman leader found no fault in Him and wanted to set Him free. The mob--could have been some of the very ones who called to have Him be their king when He entered the city--cried out to have Him killed.
An offer was made to set Him free and the mob said they wanted a man who had killed to be set free instead. That man's name meant 'son of the father'. The called for the death of The Real Son of the Father.
Then they took Him and finished hurting Him, but He kept saying "Father, forgive them 'cause they don't know what they are doing..." That must have made them even more angry.
Then they took Him to that hill outside the city and nailed Him to the Cross. He was hung up there in front of all. Lifted up, His beaten Body cried out to the people of the World to find salvation in Him and only one, a thief, took Him at His Word and believed. Jesus promised that that thief would be with Him. He once stole things but now was on the receiving end of the greatest treasure he would ever have. He would find Peace at the end of his life.
When all was over, Jesus then said "Into Your Hands I give My Spirit." "It is finished!" And died.
The earth shook. The Temple was hit and the curtain that kept people away from the Holy of Holies was torn from the TOP to the BOTTOM. (A sign that God DID IT!)
They took Him down from the Cross and put Him in a grave that was not His. There death took Him but could not hold Him. For three days, He was there in that cold grave...dead.
God showed up on the third day.
Lesson learned: When things look bad and the bottom falls out, look up and see that He is there. He has always been there but we made up our minds that He most have left us. We think He is like other people we know. We do forget that He is God. It is His nature to be God. He is God.
There at the grave of Jesus, God really showed up on both sides of the stone. Working together, the stone was moved and Jesus saw the light of another day. A New Day of Resurrection.
Is that what you need today? When things look dark, and they are really dark, look up and see that He is the Lord! He is Risen!
He is Risen, indeed!
See you at the Kokukoen station on Sunday at 7:30 AM for a SonRise Service. Brother Ken and myself will be sharing a message with you and give you a chance to sing of this Risen Lord. Come later to ICCS for Grow Zone, a short Sweet/Coffee time at 9:30 before the worship service which will begin at 10:30. During the service, we will have three young people enter the Waters of Baptism as an outward sign of new life. They will be sharing their story. The message will be on Hope Today.