My Dear People of God,
As we approach Easter, the key question or thought must be, what difference will the message of Holy Week (Jesus’ final steps to Calvary, His death, burial, and resurrection) make to my life and yours? I pray that this Holy Week you have been deeply impacted by Jesus’ journey and what He secured for us through His journey to Calvary and then gloriously on to His resurrection. I pray that the message of Good Friday and Easter still inspires you and awakens in you afresh a deep love for Jesus and a deep passionate desire to devote yourself to Him and the cause for which He died. I pray that your faith in Him is affirmed and your conviction in the faith we hold so dear, has been re-charged. It certainly has happened for me this most holy week.
Let me share a few insights that may help you in your response to Jesus.
The first thought is this: Jesus’ journey to Calvary is indeed Jesus’ way – it is the way of the cross. It is what believers of old described as ‘the Third Way’ (implying that there is your way and my way and then there is Jesus’ Way). Jesus’ way is the way of the cross – the way of sacrifice, the way of the obedient servant, the way of enduring love and faithfulness, the way of grace and mercy (Phil 2:5-11). Jesus’ way is the only way for the believer (Phil 2:5). Jesus has set us an example that we should do as he has done (John 13:13-17). Is it true that the world does not know Jesus’ way, because Jesus followers do not embrace Jesus’ way – rather choosing the way of the world, of self- advancement, of self- preservation and self-centredness and such like?
The second thought follows naturally: Jesus taught and demonstrated that to die is to live. Life only comes for the believer when we die to self, to our ways (John 12:24-25) that Jesus’ life may be lived in us. We only really live when we are willing to die. Jesus expects that if we call ourselves His servants, we should follow in His steps: ‘Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am my servant will be’ (John 12:26).
The Third thought is this: Jesus chose the way of the cross. This was the way Father God had ordained that He would save the world (John 3:16-17). It is not an easy way and even Jesus had to resolutely hold to it and keep focussed on the cross amid various temptations and distractions to go the comfortable way of the world (Isaiah 50:4-8). Jesus calls us this Holy Week again to choose His way – the way of the cross. He calls us to focus on Him and His example and to count it as a privilege to share his sufferings, His discomfort, His sacrifice (Heb 12:1-3). We are called to choose to forgive rather than to resent; to choose to have mercy rather than to judge; to extend grace rather than to condemn.
My final thought: Jesus was motivated in all He did on this journey to Calvary and to the Resurrection, by His desire to bring glory to Father God (John 12:27-28). Even where He could have chosen to abandon the way of the cross, He chose rather to embrace the way of the cross, because He knew that in securing the salvation of the world, Father God would get the ultimate glory. Jesus calls us too, this Holy Week, to be willing to embrace the way of the cross, because therein is the Father most glorified in us. We are about His glory and His glory alone.
Remember this: there is no crown without a cross!
A Blessed Christ filled Easter to all.