Every Sunday, I sit and worship and wait patiently to hear these words “May the peace of the Lord be always with you!”
I know these words by heart and I can say them to myself at any time. But, I like hearing them repeated in the glorious and peaceful Cathedral sanctuary. I am focused, obsessed and desiring to obtain that peace from God.
This is my favorite season of worship as I relive the long, torturous, and dusty road to Calvary. A horrific journey for Jesus who wishes to grant us grace and peace. A journey that is both tragic and triumphant.
This Lenten season I am writing for myself. I am writing for anyone who cares to read. I am writing for God. I am writing.
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37-38
Loneliness is a terrible thing. The fear that grows from the despair of loneliness can be difficult to bear.
I have experienced a deep sense of loss and loneliness. But, I have never experienced or could even fathom what Jesus felt that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus counts on His beloved disciples to watch with Him as He prays. They can’t do it.
As sweat turns to blood and Jesus cries out in prayer to the Father, the disciples sleep.
Preparing to drink from the cup filled with the sins of mankind would be beyond human comprehension. It is unimaginable. But Christians believe in the unimaginable. We believe in a Savior who died for us. We could not drink a cup containing just our own personal sins. So, imagine the sins of the world…it is too much to ask of anyone.
But Jesus went on that lonely journey to death for me and for you. He carried the cross, endured the humiliation, the beatings, and the pain for our sins.
Tonight, I watch for one hour. One hour of my time for a lifetime of grace.
I sit and I watch and I am grateful. I sit and I know I am unworthy but I sit and I am glad. I sit remembering His sacrifice and I mourn until I can rejoice again.
I know this sounds like a really sketchy concept for my Easter Sunday blog. But stick with me for a minute.
This is the ultimate bad day turns out great day in history. If we are to believe that Jesus really did rise from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, then it is absolutely life changing. This is not fiction, it’s not a fable, it’s not just a great story. In fact, if you believe, then you can never go back to normal.
With Jesus – normal is not an option.
If you believe, then you have to believe without reservation or restrictions. It’s time to redirect your course. You can’t just fit Jesus into your life when convenient. Jesus IS your life now. You are a changed person.
Your life may have been lemons before you found Jesus but once you let him into your heart…it’s time to make lemonade. This story, this life of Christ is too big for one day. It’s for all eternity.
Are you all in?
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Isaiah 53:9
There is a great deal written about the death and resurrection but not as many expound upon the burial of Jesus Christ.
It was all foretold by Isaiah in the scripture above and fulfilled prophecy. It is an important part of the story.
Typically, non-Jewish criminals who had been crucified were left on the cross. According to Jewish custom, Jesus should have been moved to a poor and lowly gravesite out of the area.
And when evening was come, there came a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: this man went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. Matthew 27:57-58
Jesus’s body was taken away by rich believers and placed in a tomb (empty and never used) reserved for the wealthy. Why did Pilate allow this? Historians believe it is because Joseph of Arimathaea was a rich man of influence. But some also surmise that Pilate allowed it in order to ensure that the tomb was sealed and secure. I believe Joseph knew Jesus was the King of Kings. He knew that Jesus earthly body should rest, for a while, with the wealthy.
Pilate’s plan failed. You can’t stop the Lord of Lords. No grave can stop Jesus. The stone is rolled away. Hallelujah!
So much of what we learn through this final earthly walk with Christ was the fulfillment of prophecy. Of course, His whole life was the same.
I look forward to the stone being rolled away. I look forward to the resurrection and the life to come. Bring on Easter Sunday!
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.