Holy Week moved closer to its climax, when Jesus cried with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Scriptural text:Matthew 27:46). John in chapter 19:30, put it this way. When Jesus, therefore, had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing His head, He gave up the spirit.” Adding more closure to the seven days that changed the world.
Good thing it happened then because the modern church is only up to capitulation and not change. As typified, by the annual Easter egg roll on the Monday after Resurrection Sunday. The government should be afraid of angering the church because of such mockery. Especially as one considers the drama of the past week and what’s it’s suppose to mean for the future. Ponder carefully the following and determine your role in the future.
It started eight days ago, when two disciples did as Jesus instructed. They brought to him an ass, and a colt, the foul of an ass. (Scriptural texts:Matthew 21:2;5-7). Then the multitudes who went before, and those who followed, cried saying, “HOSANNA-meaning liberator-the Son of David! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!” (Scriptural text:Matthew 21:9). And when he came to Jerusalem, all the city was moved saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” (Scriptural text:Matthew 21:11).
And the week ended victoriously, and behold there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. (Scriptural text:Matthew 28:2). And for fear of him the keepers (guards sent by Pilate) did shake, and became as dead men. (Scriptural text:Matthew 28:4). And the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know you seek Jesus, who was crucified. HE IS NOT HEAR; FOR HE IS RISEN, AS HE SAID, COME SEE THE PLACE WHERE THE LORD LAY.” (Scriptural texts:Matthew 28 5-6).
Ending the old agreement of life under the law with all of it’s Jewish customs and rituals. Which served as a preparatory avenue for the ushering in of a new agreement between humanity and God. A contract between we Christians and God which reads, “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead through the body of Christ, that you are married to another. To Him, who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” See Romans 7:4;6.
Which has not been accepted by most Jewish people within Israel and through out the world. For that matter, this new agreement has mostly been rejected by the so called Christian community too. Except for the pompous ceremony and sparkling glamor of Easter. And for their rejection of Hosanna, the liberator of temporal troubles in the present time, as well as spiritual blindness. They like the guards sent by Pilate to guard His grave, are as dead people just like much of Christendom today. And, that is the story of Holy Week. Hosanna in the highest, would have us honor His resurrection by serving as liberators from temporal needs and spiritual darkness.
Easter, ever wonder where such an expression originated? Certainly not from Jesus. From previous discussions about those seven days, Jesus left clear instructions as to how He wanted to be remembered. He did not mention anything about Easter.
As best, as can be determine, Easter is a derivation of Eostra, the goddess of both dawn and spring. Supposedly, it dates back to the honoring of the vernal equinox of spring. Employing the Easter rabbit as a symbol of fertility, with the colored eggs symbolizing the growth of new life.
Well, one thing we know, Easter is what Holy Week is mostly about for most of Christendom. Who benefits, the most from the celebration of Easter? The very segments of society Jesus fought with. The merchants, government and apostate religions! The sales associated with Easter jingles ample profits into their collective bank accounts. Making the Easter season one the most profitable of the year. Especially, for area restaurants.
Governments love the Easter season, also. Because the Easter season is seen by them as a means of keeping the population in check. Meaning none of this nonsense Jesus encouraged. Like a government responsibility to use its influence to encourage its citizens to understand that temporal and spiritual solutions are found through their Father in heaven. And that governments need to absorb wise godly counsel from the church.
Whether Christ followers like it or not, government does not do anything out of fear of the church. Angering Christians over such mockery of what the season really means never enters the minds of most modern day politicians. Instead the government sees its role as enriching the few and impoverishing the many. Contrary to the secondary meaning of what what the season is about. Which is, one of liberation from temporal needs. Of course, the primary purpose being, “Unless you repent you shall likewise perish.” See Luke 13:1-3. And today, who is right there opposing the Christ way? By supporting government shenanigans, none other than many, not all, Christian churches. Celebrating by ignorance or on purpose paganism.
In the United States, one might argue that the government celebrates the arrest of Christianity with its annual, White House Easter roll. Which dates back to 1878, and takes place on Easter Monday. If we the church, today practiced the teachings of Christ. There would be no such annual shenanigans. But today, if such bravery were attempted the government would have us arrested as extremist and labeling us a dangerous militia. Which may be a good thing because there is a need to put the fear of God among those, who think that they know better than Jesus, what is good for the nation. And if you have read previous discussions, that represents blasphemy. A sin God condemns, but has been twisted to mean something that’s misleading.
This is some of what it takes to make the church effective in a modern twenty first century society. The Resurrection is about choice. It is recorded in Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call haven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your decedents may live.” From Joshua 24:15, “And if it seems evil to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my house, we shall serve the LORD.” Should the decision be made not to agree with Moses and Joshua to choose life and serve the Lord. Jesus makes the consequences quite clear. And he, who does not take up the cross and follow after me is not worthy of Me.” (Scriptural text:Matthew 10:38).
Being unworthy of Jesus is something to be avoided. Because, it has only negative consequences. Empires like the United States disappear while on its way to nothingness. While the people bear much suffering in the process. There are tell tale signs along the way such as governmental confusion as to how to govern. Lawlessness increases exponentially and moral decadence becomes the new normal. Like hearing a man refer to his male partner as his wife. When such is the case, as in the United States, this then is her destiny. Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Scriptural text:Psalms 127:1).
There is a certain amount of self denial required when following Jesus. He said, those who will follow me, must deny themselves, and take up My cause as symbolized by the My cross. (Scriptural text: Mark 8:34). “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Scriptural text:Mark 8:35). Such statements have to do with arguing for the provision of temporal needs for the people. Opposing merchants, apostate religious leaders, governments, who are sure to stand in the way. It’s in that context that the preaching of the gospel is never absent. The power of the gospel is the world changer. It’s a weapon of war as metaphorically illustrated by the Psalmist concerning another declared evil. Psalms 127:3-5, Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. But, they shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
One might suspect some additional worthy battles against such powerful foes would include the following. Temporal provisions such as universal health care, ObamaCare doesn’t qualify. Livable wages indexed to inflation, restructuring the tax system, universal affordable housing, free education beyond high school, reigning in global warming, embryonic stem cell research, limiting war to just wars like the war against Nazism, and today, the war against Islam a parallel evil. Just to cite a few examples. And never to be forgotten, the words of Jesus. As to who are the greater sinners. Using the Galileans, the unfortunate people who experienced death accidentally as metaphors. “I tell you, no; but unless you repent, you will likewise perish.” (Texts:Luke 13:1-5).
To do otherwise would be to succumb to our Caesar’s.They cried out! “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”Â Pilate said unto them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, we have no king but Caesar!” (Scriptural text:John 19:15). And that is the echoing call, of modern day America. Led sadly enough, by most of Christendom. A nation that has chosen death over life. With God keeping a careful record. And if anyone has noticed, we, and our decedents seem to be headed towards a very dismal tomorrow. (Scriptural text:Deuteronomy 30:15). Because, so few are able to hear the centuries old echo from Joshua. “As for me and my house, we shall serve the LORD.” And by all means, keep your quiver full of arrows. And know that however, you use those dimensional mysteriousness of those arrows they pierce not causing death but life. For it is recorded. The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Scriptural text:Hebrews 4:12). From your quiver of arrows, pray that those shot, will experience confessed sins and acceptance of Christ, as redeemer and life reformer. Declaring that they, and their household shall serve the LORD.
Glorious, and victorious resurrection to all, as we journey to Holy Week 2018. May His cause be lived through us. As it’s recorded for us, “They that say that they abide in Him, ought themselves also to walk even as He walked.” (Scriptural text:1 John 2:6). The true meaning of Holy Week with its climatic discovery of the risen Christ.