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Reflections

Welcome to the JCPC Daily Reflections Blog. Reflections are daily devotionals authored by JCPC pastors, staff and members and provide insight, guidance and comfort to help you make it through each day. If you’d like to receive Reflections each day via email,  provide your email address.

Friday, April 08 2022
 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road… saying,

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”

-Luke 19:36, 38

 

Palm Sunday is just around the corner! We celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem only a few days before his trial and execution, a glorious and boisterous moment before the darkest moments of Jesus’ life. In some ways, it almost feels out of place in Lent. We pause for a moment from quiet introspective reflection and sing Jesus into Jerusalem with All Glory, Laud, and Honor, complete with waving palm branches. If you didn’t know any better, you might think that Lent was over and it was back to “happy times”.

 

But this isn’t the end of Lent. Maundy Thursday is next week, where we remember through word and song the Last Supper, betrayal, trial, and crucifixion of the Son of Man. The worship space is stripped of paraments, cross, and candles to represent the humiliation and barrenness of the tree upon which Christ was murdered.

 

This is the part of the story that people often shy away from. The crucifixion is really quite gruesome. Nails through hands and feet? No thanks. Surely it was an incredibly traumatic scene to witness. This person the disciples believed to be the long-awaited Messiah was hanging on a Roman cross and put to death without just cause. In some ways, we are guilty of the same treason against God that sentenced Jesus to a painful, agonizing death.

 

But all is not lost! Easter comes on Sunday. We celebrate Easter because of the fact that Jesus’ death was not the final word. It wasn’t the end. Jesus conquered death and broke the power that death had over all of us. The glorious knowledge that our Cosmic Christ reigns even over death brings us hope in this life and the next.

 

As we head into Palm Sunday and Holy Week, do not shy away from the disturbing reality of the cross. It is not just a story about someone dying. It was humiliation, suffering, and despair, unlike what any of us will ever likely experience. We have to acknowledge the horror of the crucifixion to truly live in the joy and hope of what Easter promises. Find time in the coming week to survey the wondrous cross and imagine how you would feel if you were there when they crucified our Lord.

Prayer for Today

God of Endless Hope, we are confronted with the brutal murder of your Son, sent to save us and yet condemned to death by our own actions. In a way, Lord, it was I who betrayed you. I am responsible for malicious acts against you and my fellow brothers and sisters. Hear my repentance for all my transgressions and cleanse me so that I may live into the reality of the Easter hope to come. Amen.

Posted by: AT 09:47 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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