The Acceptable Cross

The cross, for the most part, seems to be accepted in our society. People seem to be comfortable with that old rugged cross. No offense is taken by it as it hangs around one’s neck in wood, silver or gold. Furthermore, culture accepts and even appreciates the rows upon rows of white crosses at Arlington. And so, the cross is accepted…. or is it?

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Still Risen

the-empty-tomb-george-richardson

Easter has, once again, come and gone.  It was a weird Easter for me. I was on the tail end of a crazy illness that had me laid up in bed for several days leading up to Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday, I managed to physically go to church and celebrate the truth that death could not keep Jesus in the grave. However, I am not so sure I was cognitively all there.  I also wanted to write a blog post about the resurrection, but that too fell by the wayside due to being ill.

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A Easter Community

Last Supper

What a week….. Easter Week!

Imagine…. on this very week 2000+ years ago Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  The crowd that gathered shouted “Hosanna, glory to God in the highest”!  By the end of the week He was crucified by a crowd that shouted: “Give us Barabas” and “Crucify Him”.

Wow, what a pendulum swing!

So much to consider during this, the Easter week.

  • It was that time of year to celebrate God’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery. It is Passover time in Jerusalem.
  • Each day of the week leading up to the crucifixion is worth a blog post, no a book, in itself.
  • Every one of the 7 sayings of Christ on the cross is worthy of dissection.
  • Each and every aspect of Easter week (Holy Week) declares the glory of the Savior who has come to offer us forgiveness.

The religious leaders have been seeking to trap Him and orchestrate His death.  Judas steps forward to provide the opportunity to make their dreams come true.

The ministry of Jesus has been brief and powerful.  He has chosen this band of brothers that have gathered around Him. Each day, Jesus is found to be teaching them and preparing them for this very week.  They are the 1st Easter Community.  An unlikely group.  Unimpressive in every way.  And yet, they will be entrusted with the continued sharing of Jesus’ life, soon to be death, followed by the miraculous resurrection.

Easter Community: This is what has my attention this week.

This is what shocks me 2000+ years later.

If you are a follower of Christ, you have been called to be a part of that community.  Jesus gathered disciples 2000+ years ago….. and He is still doing that today!  And, if you are a true believer in Jesus Christ….YOU ARE A PART OF THAT COMMUNITY.

And being a disciple that is a part of that community, we also, have been entrusted to tell of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. And, while there is a heightened sense of awareness this being Holy Week, the reality for all believers is that we are a part of that community every week.

As you gather with your church for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter Sunday, reflect on what Christ has done to provide this community of believers.  Nothing less than the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has made this community of believers possible!

God has brought His mercy and grace to not only you, but all who you will find yourself gathered with this weekend. But not only that, you are gathered with all the saints who have gone before you. Some martyred, some new in their faith (thief on the cross), some old in the faith, some strong, some weak, all saved by the grace of our Lord.

Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king. would die for me
Amazing love, I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
Amazing love how can it be?
That you my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do
I honor you

Chris Tomlin

To be clear, I am not suggesting you celebrate the community above the Savior. We are not gathering this weekend to celebrate, “What A Community Of Believers”. No, we gather to celebrate the Savior, “What A Savior”! But, we do so within a community of disciples.

Unlikely disciples, then and now.

This is the community of disciples I am blessed to be celebrating with this weekend!
This is the community of disciples I am blessed to be celebrating with this weekend!

God, you have drawn us into this community of people who follow your Son, Jesus Christ. Open our hearts to this glorious truth. Renew our hearts in this unending grace. Help us to honor you as we celebrate all that you accomplished in your life, death, and resurrection.