“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it…So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
John’s Good News Story, Chapter 1 verses 1-5 NLT
(John was one of Jesus’ closest friends here on earth)
Well friends… today is Palm Sunday. Passion Week is here. I know that for many of you, perhaps most of you following this blog, you are in a mood of celebration and anticipation as you look forward to Easter Sunday.
Easter is our reminder, as believers, of the great cost that our God went through to purchase and secure for us access to relationship and life with Him. Passion, or “suffering” is the word that describes Jesus during this week. Suffering physically, suffering emotionally, suffering relationally, suffering publicly, and suffering spiritually all mark Jesus in His final days.
Today, though I want to introduce Passion Week to you as the most important week in the life of Jesus. Perhaps you will come to understand it as the most important week in your life as well, because it is here that death and sin were defeated and life and light shined in the darkness of this world. It is here that your life story has purpose and meaning, and your life focus and goal require a change of direction towards the place Jesus is leading all of humanity into the future…The Kingdom of Heaven.
5 Reasons Why Passion Week Matters
Today I want to offer you five reasons why this week matters so much to those of us who believe. These aren’t the only five reasons, but I hope they will give you a good idea as to why we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This story matters more than any other story ever told.
- It is the crucial turning point in human history. All of human history from ancient history to modern history is fixed on this focal point in time. The final week of Jesus life here on earth was predicted from ancient times in the books of Isaiah, Psalms, Genesis, and many other stories in the Bible. And everything that has happened in history since this turning point has literally turned the world upside down. Jewish historians anticipated the day that a savior would come and they missed and dismissed His arrival and His teachings as nothing more than nonsense.
- It is where God revealed His true heart towards humanity. Many have speculated on the nature of God’s relationship with us. In the Old Testament we see and experience a God of justice and wrath, even hatred of sin and wickedness, but this often overshadows what we know is also a heart of compassion and love for his creation. Though it is more difficult to see in the Old Testament than the New…God is a God of both unimaginable love and unshakable holiness. It is at the cross that we see his love and his justice meet in the atoning sacrifice of His son Jesus. Love Wins, Justice Wins, and Grace ties the two together.
- It is where we find ourselves called the friends of God. Nothing should give us greater joy than to know that Jesus calls us his friends. We are not simply children, slaves of righteousness, or creations of our Creator. We are friends of God. Ever since Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden, we have needed this to be the way we relate to Him as well. Walking and talking with Jesus, our souls bared in intimacy with him. We are friends. We laugh together, cry together, and just carry on conversation with Him. The final week of Jesus reminds us that relationships with Him and with our spiritual family matter more than anything else in the world.
- It is where we realize that God relates to us. We love it when we see someone who is high and respectable lower themselves to the common man’s problems and circumstances. We have a hard time believing in someone who cannot relate to our poverty, our struggles, or our pains. Anyone born with a silver spoon in their mouth is immediately suspect to us and we just don’t trust them. We don’t believe they’ve got the experiences or the ability to relate to us because they’ve lived a privileged life. Jesus blows all of this out of the water. We see, in Jesus, a God who stoops to our level, goes through our struggle, and wraps himself up in our flesh so that we can beleive that He really cares. This is incarnation. This is God become flesh. This is what we’ve always needed.
- It is where freedom became a reality for all of us. Jesus came to set us free. We are overloaded and burdened by a debt we cannot pay back. Our sin separates us from God. We cannot save ourselves. Jesus final week was the battle cry of freedom for all of humanity. Because of this week, you don’t have to fear death. Because of this week, you don’t have to fear loneliness. Because of this week, you don’t have to live without purpose any longer. Because of this week, you can move forward in freedom to a life that God has created for you to be more than you’ve ever imagined. This week brought freedom to us all.
As I said before, there are many more reasons why we believe this is the most important week of the year. I wanted to share these with you today because I believe some of us may have forgotten. This is why we celebrate the Passion Week. Life in the midst of death. Light in the midst of darkness. Hope in the midst of despair. And a God who cares in the midst of a world lost in selfishness.
This is the Passion Week. This is your week. This is the most important week of your life.
Enter in. Walk with Jesus this week. And see if He can’t change your heart towards everything.