This season of lent has been particularly rich for our church as a whole.  From weekly prayer times at the Dare’s home to pointed times of worship, repentance, confession, and assurance of grace we have built anticipation and longing for the final reign of Christ.  As we already find ourselves halfway through “Holy Week”, the packed, final week of Jesus’s life on earth before his death and resurrection (Good Friday and Easter), I find myself wanting to enter into the significance of this week but struggling to slow down and make the most of this last week of Lent.  Perhaps you gave something up for these forty-days of Lent but realize you have waned a little on your diligence to remember why you gave that up, and how you hoped it would lead to an even greater longing for the reality of Jesus’ resurrection to shape every aspect of your life.

The conversation around my house has revealed that we’re all abstaining from the things we agreed to give up, but having a hard time pressing into the greater meaning of our fast.  Though we were in a hurry to get out the door on Monday morning, after a long weekend of baseball games and an out-of-town soccer tournament, we took five minutes to talk about how we wanted to more intentionally wrap up this Lenten season together. Let me encourage you to read through some of these passages (below), and have some conversations with your family, roommates, etc. about the significance of Christ’s final week on earth before his death and resurrection. I hope to see you at our Good Friday and Easter services, and I pray the Lord leads you to slow down and enter in to the significance of this Holy Week.

PALM SUNDAY:

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem; fulfilling all sorts of prophecy, yet paving the way for the very unexpected way in which God would establish victory over sin and death, through the sacrificial death of His only Son, Jesus. 

Matthew 21:1-11
21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

MAUNDY THURSDAY:

“Maundy” is taken from the latin for command, and we celebrate this day to remember the new commandment Jesus gave to his followers, that we love one another just as he has loved us.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

To read the whole account of Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples, read John 13:1-38 .

GOOD FRIDAY:

We may take for granted what is so good about the brutal and shameful death of Jesus. Handed over by his Jewish countrymen to be crucified on a Roman cross, He endured the death we all deserve because of the cosmic rebellion we have committed against our creator-God.  Jesus was ultimately rejected by His Heavenly Father so all of His people, those who are found in Him through a transfer of faith from self to Christ, can be fully accepted as sons and daughters of God Most High. At our Good Friday Service, on 4/19/19 (Good Friday Service Details), we will intentionally engage our senses and enter into the horror Christ endured that makes His death so good for those who put their faith in Him. M

Mark 15:33-34
And when the sixth hour[f] had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

To read the whole account of Jesus’ death and burial, read Mark 15:1-47.

EASTER:

Jesus’s resurrection from the dead is undoubtedly the most life-altering, history-shaping, event in the history of the entire universe.  On the first day of the week, Sunday morning, Jesus’ closest followers discovered that he was no longer laying among the dead, for He is risen!  We will celebrate and remember that glorious day, as we build anticipation for when He will return once and for all to usher in the restoration Jesus set in motion and by raising from the dead and promised to complete when he ascended to the right hand of God the Father. Come celebrate with us as a church family (Easter Service Details). 

Luke 25:1-5
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen.  

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