Union Ridge Church

April 5, 2023

by Reverend Dan on April 5, 2023
It’s Holy Week. Passion Week. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the week that culminates in the two acts that define the Christian faith: the crucifixion, and the resurrection.

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day that commemorates Jesus’s riding into Jerusalem on a colt to celebrate the Passover and fulfill prophecy. He received a hero’s welcome, accompanied by shouts of Hosanna. (But as with most things in our fad du jour world, give it a few days – those shouts would change.)

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. The word “maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum”, which means “command.” (It’s where the English word “mandate” comes from.) It was at the Passover meal with His disciples on Maundy Thursday where Jesus gave two “commands” that are doctrinal foundations of our faith. “As often as you eat of this bread and drink of this cup, do so in remembrance of me”, and “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” It was at the end of the Passover meal that Judas left and set everything in motion for 30 pieces of silver.

The next day is “Good Friday”, which seems somewhat of a misnomer because there is nothing “good” about what happened that day. Some believe the name derived from what was originally called “God’s Friday”, but “good” also denotes the name of any Christian holiday or observance during medieval times so it could have come from there.

The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is known as “Holy Saturday.” In some areas of the world, it’s called “Black Saturday” because it is the day Jesus descended into Hell to claim victory over death. (Interesting – the original Apostle’s Creed originally included the sentence, “He descended into hell”, but many churches omit that phrase now because, to be honest, in their minds it’s not a good marketing strategy. They believe it’s a bit of a hard sell to get folks in church talking about hell. (Prosperity Gospel, Feel-Good Theology . . . they’re watering down the Truth. We need to tell the whole story – crosses and hell and everything - to even remotely begin to understand the depth of love Christ has for us.)

Then comes the central day of the Christian faith: Easter. Resurrection Sunday. The day the tomb was found empty. The promise of eternal life because the grave could not hold Him for He had conquered hell and death.

I could write more, but there is nothing that I could say that can adequately reflect what a cross and an empty tomb means to the world. I pray that this week will be the most meaningful Easter ever for you.

Rejoice, for He has Risen!