This Easter holy week has been rather special for me. This will be my first Sunday as a Senior Pastor preaching on Easter Sunday. I’ve had the privilege this week to think deeply about Christ’s death and resurrection and what it means for me and for the world. This day, Good Friday, is the day which church tradition says was the day of Christ’s crucifixion. Below are some recommendations for this weekend.
- We should somberly ponder the reality of our sins in light of Christ’s cross. Jesus became sin for us. Jesus took upon himself the curse of sin in our place. While we should not dwell too deeply or too long in the depths of our sinfulness, we should both consider and confess our sins in light of the cross. Jesus paid for all our sins on the cross. Our sins today inhibit fellowship with Jesus. This holy week in the life of the church is an important time for reflection and confession of our sinfulness.
- We should set aside time to consider the weight of sin that rested on Jesus on that cruel cross so many years ago. The weight of sin Jesus carried is impossible for us to quantify or to even comprehend. The holy Christ took on himself what is vile and evil. Jesus, as both God and man, accepted a period of separation from his holy Heavenly Father because he became our sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Let us not gloss over the intensity of Jesus’ prayer in the garden or the weight of sin on the cross because we are too familiar with the story.
- We should be thankful that the resurrection occurred in space-time history. Jesus’ resurrection is not just some personal truth for Christians as postmodernism might explain it. Jesus’ resurrection is not merely a spiritual resurrection in the hearts of believers as theological liberalism might explain it. Jesus’ resurrection is historical reality. There is an empty tomb. There is no body. There were hundreds of witnesses. Many of the first witnesses died for their belief in Jesus’ physical, historical resurrection from the dead. There is a thriving, growing, universal church today because Jesus’ resurrection occurred in space-time history. If it did not occur as testified in Scripture, then, as Paul affirmed, “we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19).
- We should be ready to rejoice greatly this Sunday as we worship the Risen Lord. It is true that every Sunday is Easter for the follower of Jesus. The first disciples began worshiping together on Sundays because the first day of the week was the day of Jesus’ resurrection. Fascinatingly, the first believers were Jews whose day of worship was the Sabbath. So the resurrection caused the first Jewish believers to willingly change more than 1,000 years of worship history! But Easter is special. It is the day we celebrate the event that changed EVERYTHING! So get to church early. Sing loudly. Worship corporately. Proclaim boldly. And celebrate this Easter Sunday joyfully!