Worthy is the Lamb that once was slain
To receive all glory, pow’r, and praise
For with Your blood You purchased us for God
Jesus, You are worthy, that is what You are
Our worship team played this song in church on Sunday and the lyrics resonated with me in a powerful way. “For with Your blood, You purchased us for God.” We have been purchased by Jesus Christ so that we may experience the mystery and wonder of God! Jesus came to finish God’s work of salvation and to pay in full the penalty for our sins. Could this have been possible if Christ did not die on the cross? Is it because of His death that we can freely approach God, knowing that we have been granted access to a life eternal with Him? Did Jesus’ death bring hope to a fallen world?
Friends, we are entering Holy Week, the most sacred week in the Christian church. Over the course of the next seven days, we are invited into Jesus’ final moments on earth. We celebrate Him with palm branches in Jerusalem, sit at His table with the disciples, walk the dusty road to Golgotha, weep over His crucifixion and death, and mourn His ultimate sacrifice. Yet, because of His death, we are certain of our own resurrection because He was resurrected. We learn that death is not the end; there is future life!
As I write this, I find myself wondering what those final days must have been like for Jesus and His followers. I am certain Good Friday was plagued by disbelief, hopelessness, and fear as the people witnessed their Messiah struggling under the weight of His own cross. And, the pain and anguish that must have followed as they watched the Roman soldiers lower His broken body. Saturday, guards were ordered to secure the tomb where He laid in an effort to deter any further deception. The One who came to save His people was gone, with no resurrection on the horizon. It must have been a very dark day.
By faith, we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
But God. When all seemed hopeless and lost, God knew that Sunday was coming. God knew that the descent into Saturday had to occur so that the people could ponder what had happened and engage their pain surrounding Jesus’ death. God was preparing them for a miracle unlike any other. He was getting ready to make all things new. The ascent into Easter Sunday would not be status-quo; things would not return to normal. God was teaching His people that even though death had occurred, there was hope in their waiting.
Today, God has asked me to return to my own ‘Saturday,’ and to practice being present. He wants me to linger in the areas of my life that reflect brokenness with no hint of repair; yet, He’s also asking me not to despair. Can I wait with hope, or am I being taught to wait for hope? It is a beautiful request, especially during Holy Week, and I invite each of you to join me.
Enter into His story each day this week: Ride alongside Him into Jerusalem, observe how He predicts His own death, recount the story of Judas, sit by Him as He washes the disciples’ feet, be part of the crowd that witnesses His trial before Pilate, be at the foot of the cross, weep your own personal ‘Saturday,’ and be renewed by Sunday’s promise that He will come again.
“I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.”
God bless each of you this Easter season!