He is risen! He is not in the tomb! Can this be true? Could Jesus rise from the dead!? This morning is the beginning of a new chapter for the apostles and for those who put faith in the person of Jesus. The person whom they thought was dead is no longer in the tomb! What does this all mean?!
Can you even imagine the feelings of the apostles? Just a week ago the twelve apostles, with Jesus, triumphantly entered Jerusalem. All was right with the world! What could go wrong? Then, on Thursday, one of their own, Judas, hands Jesus over to the Romans who then kill him the next day! But just a few days ago, scared and confused, the apostles are in hiding. What do we do when we are scared? Can you understand why the apostles fled and hid? I'm not trying to justify their actions, but trying to understand them.
Sunday morning, while the apostles are in hiding, some of the women followers excitedly enter their hiding spot screaming that the body of Jesus is missing from the tomb! Wait, that's not all; they saw an angel who told them Jesus was alive! What?!
In a matter of days the apostles go from excitement to fear, to despair, to questioning their beliefs, to confusion to cautious optimism. Wow! Later,…Write comment (0 Comments)
Holy Saturday, the day after the death of Jesus, Christians await, in hope and in faith, for God to show us a sign that Jesus is truly His son. When we think of the emotions of the followers of Jesus, so sure that He was the savior, to experience His death, their heartbreak and confusion must've been unbearable! Were they duped? How were they so wrong to think that Jesus was God? Yet, because of everything that they experienced while with Jesus, there still exists a sense of hope in their hearts. They don't yet understand, and they are questioning, but they haven't yet fully rejected the belief that Jesus is the son of God.
Taken from the Christian prayer-book "The Liturgy of the Hours", here is an ancient sermon attributed to Easter yet prayed on Holy Saturday. What does this sermon says to you in your life's journey:
Love; the complete and selfless giving for another; a desire to allow the other to shine and to grow. On this day, Good Friday, Christians recall Jesus, who out of love, willingly gave Himself to suffer and to die so that we may shine and grow. Jesus, the night before, agonized and prayed over this decision of suffering and dying, hoping for another way to carry out our salvation. But in the end, in response to the message Jesus hears in prayer, He says "not my will, but Your will be done." In trust, faith and love Jesus freely suffers and dies for us.
How do we express love for others? Do we, in faith, trust enough to share our love? When we are suffering and find life difficult, in faith do we turn to Jesus who not only suffered, but who also found life's situations difficult to endure?
Today, in faith and trust, knowing that Jesus understands what it's like to make difficult decisions, to suffer, to feel physical and emotional pain, and to love, do we turn to Him in prayer and ask for guidance, for strength, for hope, for peace, for .....
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The Last Supper by Da Vinci
As I mentioned in my earlier post, Holy Week is a spiritual time for me filled with much emotion. The apostles who followed Jesus gave up their livelihood and families to follow a person whom they hoped was their longed-for messiah; the savior of the Jewish people. After spending much time with Jesus, the apostles experience the awesome high of walking into Jerusalem with the crowds praising the man they are following. Imagine how they felt, knowing that they are with an important person, and they are one of only 12 selected personally by Him! Think of how this would make you feel. But then come the events at the end of the week that will change their lives forever.
The night of Passover, as Jesus dines for the last time with his apostles, we learn that one of the selected twelve, Judas, will betray and hand over Jesus to the authorities, and Peter will deny, not once but three times, that he knows Jesus. The rest of the apostles, the closest friends of Jesus, flee and hide. Think about this ... one of Jesus' closest companions turns Him over to be arrested; His selected leader, Peter, will deny…Write comment (0 Comments)
Today, for Christians around the world, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the days leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Spiritually, Holy Week has always been a special time for me as this week is a high point of much emotion in the life of Jesus, His early followers, and for me. In my personal spiritual journey I try to understand what it was like living in the time of Jesus. I read historical books as well as the Bible in my attempt to more deeply understand and feel the emotions of the people of the time. In my effort for a deeper and closer relationship with God, I immerse myself into the Bible stories, trying to feel what they felt; experience what they experienced. This week, Holy Week, is a recollection of not just an ancient story, but a retelling of real events which happened to real people who lived real emotions, real feelings, and real experiences.
Our challenge this week is to enter into the emotions of the apostles and the bystanders as they experienced the events leading up to the betrayal, arrest, death and later resurrection of Jesus. The emotions of this week begin today, with the…Write comment (0 Comments)