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Lessons from my Five-Year Old Daughter . . . Reflections on Easter 2015

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Photo by GospelMessage on Morgue File.

Last Friday, Good Friday, I sat with my five-year old (the three-year old was still fast asleep!) and we watched a children’s video about the meaning of Good Friday. The video showed Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and performing miracles and teaching the people. It showed his last Passover with his disciples in the upper room and his instituting the Lord’s Supper. It went on to show his betrayal and crucifixion. Of course, it did so with a sensitivity to children, so the images were not overly graphic. Even still, the message was clearly proclaimed. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Commemorating Holy Week: Resurrection Sunday! Easter 2015

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Photo by electedstudios on Morgue File.

Resurrection Sunday: (Mt. 28.1, Mk. 16.1-3, Lk. 24.1, Jn. 20.1—The women arrive at the tomb of Jesus around dawn: Mt. 28.2-7, Mk. 16.4-7, Lk. 24.2-7—The women encounter angels and are told Jesus has risen: Mt. 28.8, Mk. 16.18, Jn. 20.2—The women leave, then go and tell the disciples what they have witnessed: Mt. 28.9-10, Lk. 24.8-11—Some of the women are met by Jesus, who tells them to go and tell the disciples and he will meet them in Galilee, the women obey: Jn. 20.3-10, Lk. 24.12—Peter and John rush to Jesus’ tomb and find it empty: Lk. 24.13-35—Jesus appears, in the afternoon, to the two disciples going to Emmaus, then he later appears to Peter: Lk. 24.36-43, Jn. 20.19-23—In the evening, Jesus appears to the disciples, except Thomas.)

Context:

                It has been a long and stressful week. Observing Holy Week is not for the faint of heart. We have heard the last words of Jesus spoken during his earthly ministry. We have seen him betrayed and abandoned by the very ones who were closest to him. We have seen him mocked and falsely accused. We have heard the shouts of Crucify him echo in our ears. And, we have stood at the foot of the cross, alone on Golgotha’s hill, looking up at a broken and torn Messiah. The silence captured our hearts and minds on Holy Saturday. The night seemed to last forever. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Commemorating Holy Week: Holy Saturday 2015

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Photo by edouardo on Morgue File.

Saturday: (Lk. 23.56b)

Context:

                The only mentioning of this day is in Luke 23.56b, on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Today is marked by silence. All the activity of yesterday has subsided into the nervous quiet of today. Jesus has died on the cross. He was buried and laid to rest. The disciples are huddled together in fear. They fear the religious leaders. They fear the mob. They fear the sound of approaching centurion sandals. Their whole world has been destroyed. The One in whom they trusted is now gone—he is dead. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Commemorating Holy Week: Good Friday 2015

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Photo by dhester on Morgue File.

Friday: (Mt. 26.47-56, Mk. 14. 43-52, Lk. 22.47-53, Jn. 18.2-12—Judas betrays Christ and Jesus is arrested: Jn. 18.13-14, 19-24—Jesus is brought before Annas: Mt. 26.57-68, Mk. 14.53-65—Jesus is brought before Caiaphas, the high priest and the Sanhedrin: Mt. 26.69-75, Mk. 14.66-72, Lk. 22.55-62, Jn. 18.15-18, 25-27—Peter denies Christ: Mt. 27.1-2, Mk. 15.1, Lk. 22.66-71—Jesus is tried before the Sanhedrin and is sent to Pontius Pilate: Mt. 27.3-10—Judas hangs himself: Mt. 27.11-14, Mk. 15.2-5, Lk. 23.1-7—Jesus is brought before Pilate and then sent to Herod: Lk. 23.6-12—Jesus is brought before Herod and then sent back to Pilate: Mt. 27.15-26, Mk. 15.6-15, Lk. 23.13-25, Jn. 18.28-19.16—Jesus is brought before Pilate a second time, questioned by Pilate and condemned to death: Mt. 27.27-54, Mk. 15.16-39, Lk. 23.26-49, Jn. 19.16-37—Jesus is crucified between two thieves, he is crucified around 9am and will remain on the cross six hours until 3pm when he dies.)

Context:

                We come at last to the day of execution. We call it Good Friday. Many have asked, why we would call this Friday good? How can we call the day that Jesus was horribly beaten and crucified good? It does seem an odd adjective at first. It does not seem to fit the events of that day. Perhaps we feel that others would be more appropriate, such as: Black Friday or Sad Friday or the like. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Commemorating Holy Week: Maundy Thursday 2015

Pane-vino-noci Photo by signiphoto on Morgue File Thursday: (Mt. 26.17-19, Mk. 14.12-16, Lk. 22.7-13—Jesus makes preparations for the observance of the Passover meal: Mt. 26.20-29, Mk. 14.17-23, Lk. 22.14-30—In the evening, Jesus and the disciples eat the Passover meal, he tells of his betrayal by one of them and he institutes the observance of the Lord’s Supper: Jn. 13.1-17.26—Jesus washes the disciples’ feet and delivers the Upper Room Discourse: Mt. 26.30, Mk. 14.26, Lk. 22.39—Jesus and his disciples sing a hymn and then depart for the Mt. of Olives: Mt. 26.31-35, Mk. 14.27-31, Lk. 22.31-34—Jesus foretells of Peter’s three denials: Lk. 22.35-38—Jesus gives the disciple further instructions and commands: Mt. 26.36-46, Mk. 14.32-42, Lk. 22.40-46—Jesus and his disciples go to the garden of Gethsemane.)  

Context:

Known in the liturgical calendar as Maundy Thursday ( Maundy is a Latin term that means command) this is a pivotal day in the final week of Jesus’ life. On this one day many things will transpire, many things that will change the course of human history (and eternity) forever. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Commemorating Holy Week: Wednesday 2015

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Photo by Scarletina on Morgue File.

Wednesday: (Lk. 21. 37-38—Jesus continues teaching daily in the Temple: Mt. 26.3-5, Mk. 14.1-2, Lk. 22.1-2—The Jewish religious leaders plot to kill Jesus: Mt. 26.14-16, Mk. 14.10-11, Lk. 22.3-6—Judas is possessed of Satan and betrays Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.)

Context:

We are not given any details as to what Jesus taught on this day. We are told he did teach, but no specific words are attributed to him on this day. This is the day that Judas Iscariot makes a deal with the religious leaders to betray Jesus. The price is settled for the betrayal at thirty pieces of silver. As far as Jesus himself, however, we are not told any specifics about what he said. What we are told of Jesus’ activities on this day is the following: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Commemorating Holy Week: Tuesday 2015

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Photo by EmmiP on Morgue File.

Tuesday: (Mt. 21.20-22; Mk. 11.20-21—The disciples see the fig tree withered as they return with Jesus to Jerusalem: Mt. 21.23-23.39; Mk. 11.27-12.44; Lk. 20.1-21.4—Jesus debates with the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem: Mt. 24.1-25.46; Mk. 13.1-37; Lk. 21.5-36—Jesus teaches about the destruction of the Temple and then he delivers the Olivet Discourse.)

Context:

Jesus gives us quite a bit of teaching on this day. Now, only a few days away from his betrayal, arrest, trial and death, Jesus turns his attention to kingdom business. He gives us teaching concerning the kingdom of God: both present and future.

One of the truths Jesus touches on is the importance of serving God with a sincere heart. Christ makes it plain that serving God as show or as duty only is not what is expected of true believers. We are called to conform to and obey what Jesus identified as the greatest of all commandments. This commandment is called the Shema passage. It is found in Deut. 6: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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