Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Week - The Tale of an Almighty Hero

"It's official, my favorite week of the year has begun! Today my Hero came into town on a donkey to die for my sins!! Thank you Jesus!"

This is my favorite time of year! I always like to reflect on exactly what happened the week that Jesus suffered and died for my sins. I've wanted to post the details, but haven't taken the time, so I was excited to see that Carmen from the JoyFM posted this today -

"While many of us are familiar with Holy Week, we may not all know the specific time line of the week. - The point being:

He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Sunday, March 28th
- Palm Sunday
2 mile journey to Jerusalem from Bethany, where Jesus stays each night

Monday, March 29th
Jesus protests financial transactions within the temple; argues with chief priests

Tuesday, March 30th
Jesus predicts/announces the date of his execution; debates with religious leaders; responds to question about greatest commandment

Judas contracts to betray Jesus

Wednesday, March 31st
Jesus warns against religious leaders, calling them hypocrites and snakes;
From Mount of Olives, Jesus mourns Jerusalem's rejection and pending destruction

Thursday, April 1st - Maundy Thursday
Last supper with disciples - Passover meal

Garden of Gethsemane - Jesus waits for his arrest

Friday, April 2nd - Good Friday
Confrontation in Garden and Jesus' Arrest

Trial 1: Annas, former Jewish High Priest for 16 years - Jesus receives initial physical abuse

Trial 2: Current Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin Court - Jesus bloodied by abuse

Imprisonment at Caiaphas' palace

Trial 3: All the Jewish elders, including the High Priest, scribes and whole Sanhedrin. They decide to ask the Roman government to kill Jesus

Trial 4: Hearing before Roman governor Pilate, who declares, "I find no guilt in this man."

Trial 5: Hearing before Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, who had jurisdiction over Galilee. Jesus refused to answer any questions so Herod returned him quickly to Pilate

Trial 6: Pilate repeatedly tried to release Jesus but the Jewish leaders continued to object. Pilate physically tortured and beat Jesus beyond recognition seeking to satisfy the Jewish leaders. However the Jews demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilate resisted but eventually gave the order to execute Jesus

Pilate's Roman soldiers take Jesus into the court ("Praetorium") and enjoy mockery and continued torture, including driving thorns into his skull

Jesus forced to carry his own cross, then actual crucifixion

Momentous final 3 hours on the cross

Some of the things that Jesus spoke from the cross:

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Jesus is talking about his executioners because they do not understand or know that Jesus is God.

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus (quoting a line from the Jewish scriptures) cries out at a moment in time when he is not just physically punished, but spiritually separated from God, his Father. God separates Himself from Jesus because all of the evils of mankind are placed on Jesus. This spiritual separation is the heaviest sacrifice which Jesus pays of behalf of mankind, so that mankand does not need to suffer spiritual separation from God.

"It is finished."
Once Jesus felt he had borne the penalty for the evils of mankind, he declared his mission as accomplished.

"Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
These words, spoken to a thief also being executed with Jesus, indicates Jesus' belief that Jesus would continue to live in paradise (heaven) and that Jesus can choose who will be there with him.

"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
Jesus believes his spirit, not body, now goes to heaven with God.


Sunday, April 4th - Easter Sunday
Resurrection! Jesus is alive!

Friends, the tomb is empty!! He is risen! And He's coming back for us. Jesus is the best do-over button we could ever hope for! His grace is enough. And His grace covers you. There's nothing that you have done - or can do - that is bigger than Jesus' ability AND willingness to forgive. In short, you can't "out-sin" the cross. He is alive indeed, but certainly not without nail-pierced hands. Those scars are for you. For me. Accept His gift. Let Him love you today. He wants nothing more. And I want nothing more for you."

I couldn't have said it better myself! Go enjoy Jesus!

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