As we approach Easter Sunday, it’s important to remember that the resurrection celebration is not meant to be confined to one calendar day. This week, Christ-followers across the globe are remembering Jesus’ last days on earth. I love the way my friend Brian Tolle explains it in his post this week. That’s why I’ve invited him to be our guest blogger! Check out what he has to say:
Holy Week begins this week in the Church calendar. This is really significant as a follower of Jesus. The Apostle Paul told us that our faith means little to nothing if Jesus isn’t risen from the dead.
The church, like America, has holidays. Advent is New Year’s, Pentecost is the birthday of the church, Easter is Memorial Day, Independence Day and President’s day all rolled into one! This is the time of year when we remember Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and celebrate his victory over evil and honor him as our true President. This is huge!
Holy week begins with Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday and takes us through the crazy drama of his last week in Jerusalem. This is a week that teaches us a particular rhythm in God’s Kingdom. Some call it passion week or the week of the passion (Passio is Latin for suffering). So it is a week of suffering. This is critical to understand as a follower of Jesus. And it’s one of the most difficult.
Following the true way of Jesus can get you killed. And most of us probably don’t want to die. I know this is hard for me to understand too. This is also why I have been engaging in the practice of self-denial during the forty days of Lent (and millions of others across the world are too). This is to fast from the things that we typically enjoy so we can learn to properly hunger and thirst for God’s Kingdom.
But death is not the end. The promise of hope is that the good news of the cross, and dying in Christ, is that we are raised to new life. A new life that is stronger than death. It’s hard to love your enemies, to turn the other cheek – because it could get you killed. But it will also bring you to new life. A life that will never end.
The awesome news is, we don’t have to wait until the end of Lent to celebrate resurrection. We celebrate resurrection every Sunday. Forty days after Easter, we remember Jesus’ ascension, when Jesus commanded his disciples to wait on the Holy Spirit – a gift so that we can be the body of Jesus in the world. This is ultimate deal for the disciples. We practice resurrection every day. Jesus’ story is now our story. And that next chapter of the story begins today!
I invite you to join me in the scriptures I will be reading/praying this week:
- Monday: Mark 11:12-25
- Tuesday: Mark 11:27-33
- Wednesday: Mark 12:1-11
- Maundy Thursday: Mark 14:12-25
- Good Friday: John 13:36-38
- Holy Saturday: John 19:38-42
About Brian Tolle
Brian is the Spiritual Growth Site Leader and commissioned pastor of Crossroads Church in Florence, KY. Since 2009, Brian’s vision for his family has been to love others like Jesus does and be an expression of His Kingdom in a modern world. You can find out more about Brian or subscribe to his blog at briantolle.blogspot.com