Today is Maundy Thursday followed by Good Friday Holy Saturday and Easter. We come now to the final climax of this Holy Week and Easter. This year we will not be going through the usual paschal symbolism in church but we will be thinking and travelling with Jesus and the apostles as they go through those horrific days culminating with the overwhelming joy of Easter.
First there is the Last Supper with Jesus initiating the Eucharist as a special covenant meal by which we could ‘show forth’ his death until He returns in glory.
He also uses this occasion to pray the Lord’s prayer...no not the Lord’s prayer that we recite...this is in fact the disciples’ prayer. The Lord’s prayer can be found in the gospel of John prayed by Jesus at this Last supper.
He also uses this moment to symbolise another truth. It’s a strange truth that we find hard to accept and put into practise. He shows us that as far as authority goes the body of Christ is an inverted pyramid, that is an upside down pyramid. Whereas in the world those with the most authority stand at the top of the pyramid in Jesus’ kingdom the one with the most authority stands at the bottom of the inverted pyramid supporting and ministering to all those above him.
He asks us to do the same thing. To reach out to those who are in need and give them our support and in love to help them and encourage them in the Christian life.
Then we have all the horror of Good Friday. Remember Jesus had the power to stop this at any moment. He goes to the cross as a deliberate act. He embraces the suffering in order that we might be forgiven and enter into eternal life.
He gladly, pays the penalty for sin as a love gift to us inviting us to share eternity with him.
How could we ever reject it? It’s the most beautiful gift that we could ever receive.
He dies and is buried.
The Jewish leaders knew what they had done. They try to hide from it by sealing the tomb and asking for guards to be placed on duty outside.
They may have been terrified but they still had no real conception of the truth.
On Easter Sunday morning the creator of the world, who had allowed himself to be killed in this horrific,way bursts out of the prison of death and returns to life.
Life will never be the same again.
I am now 80 years old. I know that,according to the normal pattern of life, I do not have many years left to live. However I know that life cannot be taken away from me. Jesus has given me the most precious of gifts and I will live in his presence for ever.
Will you join me, if you have never done it before, or if you have done it and it has become just a distant memory, come with me before God our Father
Tell him that however hard you try you still continue to commit sins.
Tell him and thank him that you believe that he sent his Son to die for your sins.
Tell him that you freely accept Jesus as your Saviour and Lord.
Have you done that?
Then rejoice on Easter day for Jesus rose from the dead and, just as the grave could not hold him, neither can it hold you
Come with me now into the throne room of God and lifting up your hands praise the God who loves you so much that He died, crucified on a cross, that you and I could have this eternal life.