As the Easter weekend approaches, it will be a very different experience this year for all of us. The plans we may have had for a holiday beak, tidying the garden or visiting family and friends are on hold. How will we fill the space?
Over the last few days we have been sharing bible readings which detail the last week of Jesus' life. For our reflection time today, I'm including two of these; each involves a bible reading, a short commentary and a suggestion for reflection.
I've included today's reading as it brings us up to date with the Easter story alongside the reading from last Sunday.
Carrying a cross is never a simple nor an easy task and that cross feels heavier today than perhaps ever before. Let's enter into the narrative, remembering that we are all involved and let's find our peace in Christ today.
Sunday - A Triumphant Arrival
Reading: Luke 19: 28 - 44. The Jews expected a Messiah who would take the city by storm but this is not the way it happens. On the first day of the week, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling an ancient prophecy (Zechariah 9:9), demonstrating that he is coming as a servant. His Kingdom is not of this world and it will not be brought about by worldly methods. Isaiah 53 shows Jesus the Saviour coming as a suffering servant, stooping to conquer: love and sacrifice takes centre stage over force and fury.
Thought for Today: It is easy to get carried away in praise yet it can be so hard to follow Jesus when it means taking up our cross. We can easily be tempted to use worldly means to achieve spiritual ends, where the power of argument may take the place of prayer. Pray that God will inform and transform you this Easter week as you read and reflect on the meaning of the Cross.
Thursday – Jesus is arrested
Reading: Luke22: 7 - 53 The pace of the narrative quickens. It has the immediacy of an eye witness account with a real life story to tell. This is especially true in Luke’s narrative of the Passover. The upper room, the garden, the arrest and the interrogation of Jesus pass quickly before our eyes, yet Jesus (and His life’s mission) never leave centre stage.
Thought for Today What happened to Jesus reflected the working out of God’s great plan for the salvation of humanity. Faced by the pain (and glory) of the cross and the splendour of the resurrection we can, all too easily, side line the immediate events of the Thursday night that led up to it all. The meal took those who shared it back into history but in Jesus’ words of institution (“this is my ..), it brings the future into focus. What we could never do, He will be doing – and doing it for us.