NEXT week is Holy Week and for Christians this is perhaps the most important season we can celebrate.
I say often that Christmas is wonderful, but without Easter it is just another baby born into this world.
The crucifixion is vital to all that we believe about salvation and eternal life.
Without the shed blood of Jesus there is no salvation, but without Easter and the resurrection Jesus was just another criminal put to death by jealous religious leaders and the Roman Empire.
But the Easter resurrection proves the fact that God became flesh and dwelt among us, lived as we live but without sin, and died as we died.
Since he was God, while he laid his life down he was also able to take it up again.
So why does the Holy Week matter?
Why do we as Christians celebrate the death of the one who is the basis of our faith?
Well, in truth, the answers to those two questions are way bigger than a Thought for the Week can digest, so I will simply say that the gospel is the difference between having faith or not.
Holy Week helps remind us of who Christ was on this earth and how he lived and how he came to be put to death.
In the gospels there are several of the stories from that week that we relive and take to heart that point out the final journey to the cross that Jesus walked.
There were highs and lows, good and bad that pointed people to Jesus yet the story of man is found in that on the Palm Sunday they praised him in the streets of Jerusalem but just a few short days later they were crying out for his crucifixion.
Oh yes we are a fickle lot. And still the story seems to play itself out over and over even in our lives today.
We, as did the Jews of that day, like the nice stuff God does for us. We like the prayers in our time of need. But when it doesn’t go the way we think our life should we just blame it all on God.
I ken folk who have been holding a grudge against God for years because they don’t understand the what and the why of how life seems to flow.
Yet Jesus said that whoever wanted could come to him and he would give them rest.
He came to seek and save the lost. And yet somehow we don’t always get the message and we act like we are hard done by yet we don’t stop often enough to think of how Jesus himself was treated by us, that he had to suffer for our sins.
This is why we have services in all our churches throughout Holy Week, to be reminded that even as we suffer, maybe physically, maybe spiritually, perhaps emotionally at the hands of life or even others, so our Saviour also suffered the adulation and the rejection that lead him to the cross.. But, as his journey ended in the victory of the resurrection, our journey of faith can also end in the victory of a relationship with Christ. Come walk the journey throughout next week with us. There are schedules up and you can call for more details if needed.
By the Rev. Jon Bergen,
Brechin Baptist Fellowship and Brechin Churches Together.