Palm Sunday: Revised April 5, 2020

Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11: 1-11, Luke 19:29-42, & John 12: 12-19

Jesus was a human who experienced times of elation just like us. How many times have we had the thought, “It can’t get any better than this?” buuuuuuuuuuuut, we know it is fleeting and cannot always be this way. Our lives are not this way.

It is important to first mention that all four of the Gospels write of this event.  Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem must have been quite a sight to behold. The clamor, the hubbub about the Messiah/Hosanna, and the spiritual excitement of the King of Jews entering Jerusalem to “reign forever” must have been a glorious moment. It was a fulfillment of prophets from Zechariah (9:9): Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem. Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, and riding on an ass and upon a colt the foal of an ass. The people even lay palm branches on the street like a red carpet for their king.  What deserved pomp and circumstance for Jesus yet what physical and mournful tragedy awaited our Lord!

If you will, imagine all the Gospels from their beginnings to this point being like a roller coaster that chugs up a hill: Palm Sunday is the top/pinnacle of the hill. For Jesus, his physical life creeks over the top, then begins to plummet. In five days, Jesus the future Christ would be humiliated, beaten, and killed on a cross a criminal…to the world a crash at the bottom of the hill. However, it wasn’t the end, but the beginning of our assuredness of eternal life though Jesus Christ.

Enjoy Palm Sunday and get ready to walk Holy Week with Jesus anew.

Good Friday: Thoughts

[Christ] himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
– 1 Peter 2:24 (NRSV)

Jesus’ crucifixion had probably begun the 6th hour of the day as Apostle John records, and that would have been 6:00 in the morning. Jesus was so popular (remember his triumphant entry just a few days before there in Jerusalem), and the arrest, the trumped up charges in the “Jewish court”, the beatings and the questionings had been done in the early morning hours so the general public would have no idea Jesus was on trial. Jesus’ followers probably would have revolted, but it all happened according to God’s plan.

Imagine Jesus’ garments had been divided, Jesus had been taken down from the cross, and he had been placed in a tomb bought for him by Joseph of Arimathea. What a bleak and sad Friday for Jesus, his family, and his friends.  However, as we know, and as we should always remember, it is our “Good Friday”: the day our Jesus (the sacrificial lamb without sin) took on our sins so we could stand before our God cleansed, sinless, and as white as snow.

The Last Supper: Holy Week

Last Supper/communion/Eucharist

Matthew 26: 17-29; Mark 14: 12-25; Luke 22:7-19; John 13 & 14

Jesus instituted communion the night before his crucifixion, and it is has been a part of Christian worship ever since. I have met several, wonderful Jewish people, and one Holy Week in the future, I hope and pray Carter, Ammon, Sean, I can sit and partake of one and think of Jesus and the 12 Apostles eating in fellowship. Passover Seder

Being a Christian/a follower of Jesus Christ and partaking of the bread that represents his body on the cross and sipping the fruit of the vine that represents his blood that was shed for me and all the billions of people on the earth for the remission of our sins is what puts my heart and soul in “communion” with all the billions of saints who are partaking of the Lord’s supper with me. That is a powerful component of Christian worship

I know everyone doesn’t take communion every Sunday, and I kinda wish we would like the Christians of the New Testament (all it takes is a little research of first century Christian worship to understand they took it every Sunday), but in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. However, it’s a part of worship in remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The next time you partake of the Lord’s supper, think of all the billions of Christians you are communing with as well. It’s a pretty awesome thought.

Jesus Washes Feet: Holy Week

John 13: 3-30

If you knew you would be dead in the next 24 hours, would you take time to wash your friends and family’s feet? Wouldn’t that be a bizarre act? Well, that is one thing Jesus did KNOWING he was going to die. Jesus wanted the 12 disciples to know that he did not think he was any better than they. He was their master yet he wanted to serve them. The serving wasn’t to stop there but to continue with them serving others.

I’ve often thought of Jesus washing dirty, stinking, calloused feet of his friends. Here is the son of God that came down from heaven and all of its glory sitting on the floor of an upper room in some home in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago, humbly and gently washing 12 burly men’s feet.

During the Holy Week, the main idea is that Jesus was crucified and while being crucified took on the sins of the world. However, we sometimes skip over the fact that the one of the last things he taught just hours before his death was to love and serve others.

To answer my own opening question, I’m not sure how and where I would fit serving others in, but, yes, I would serve others in fullest capacity I could in those last hours. However, I can do it HERE and NOW without waiting….that is what Jesus wants us to place in our hearts and act upon immediately. Have a blessed day, friends.

The Final House of Mary, the mother of Jesus: Ephesus

The final house of Mary, the Mother of Jesus

My most memorable and spiritual experience while we were in Ephesus was at the house of Mary the mother of Jesus. It is a very small church that still has services. We did not have a service there, but we were allowed to enter and pass through. The five of us were just about all that could fit at one time, and we passed through quite quickly. However, while I passed through, I felt such happiness and peace, and it dawned on me that this lady DESERVED the happiness and peace she experienced the last years of her life.

She had lost her husband, Joseph. When her eldest son was 33, he was crucified for no reason yet rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. She knew since before his immaculate conception that he was the son of God, but can you imagine how she watched this miracle that she bore live, die, be resurrected, and ascend into heaven with such anxiety? After helping establish the church in Acts 1:14, she and the Christians in Jerusalem were persecuted, so John, her son appointed by Jesus, took her away to finally end up in Ephesus.

It is there that she died peacefully. I did not say a word how I felt the day I was at her house to ANYONE except to God through prayer. However, several evenings later, Sean and I were jogging. We reflected back to Ephesus, and while we were jogging on the deck of the Star Princess, Sean said, “You know I had such peace while we walked through Mary’s house!” I grinned and said, “You know, so did I!” Coincidence folks? No, it’s the Holy spirit working through the believers and followers of Jesus Christ, the son Mary bore.

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, was human like us. He did not want to endure the physical pain of his upcoming crucifixion. From Mark 14:36, Jesus implores to God in the Garden of Gethsemane  “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” The “Abba” is Aramaic for “Daddy”. It reminds me so much of when Carter wants something and says “Please, Daddy!”, and my heart either wrenches and gives in or I say  “No” to what Carter wants.

God’s answer was for Jesus to endure the cross and be the sacrificial lamb for all mankind. My human heart can only imagine the anguish God was feeling for Jesus to die for us. An angel came from God and comforted Jesus (Luke 24: 43) so as to fortify him for the excruciating death that awaited him.

I also think of the 12 disciples being “cowards”, but yet, what would I have done? Do I betray Jesus like Judas did (Matthew 26: 47-49)? Do I like money, cars, clothes, traveling, or food more than Jesus and put them before my love and dedication to him? Sometimes I feel that I would have run like everyone but Peter and John. However, Peter snuck around and denied that he knew Jesus. Tradition tells that John and his family was well-received in high Jerusalem circles and probably mingled with the crowds during those early morning hours being as close to Jesus as could even until Jesus gave up his Spirit on the cross (John 19:25-27). Oh, how I would love to think that I would stay by Jesus’ side until the end.

No matter what, Jesus still loves me like he loved Judas until the end. Jesus STILL called Judas “friend” (Matthew 26: 50): Unbelievable and remarkable! However, that’s Jesus! He is LOVE and forgiveness!

This evening as we lay down in our cozy beds for a great night’s rest, let’s remember our tired and sleepless Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and getting ready to face the death on the cross so he could be our sacrificial lamb and take on our sins. What a man! Thank you, Jesus!

* It’s because of Jesus that I have begun to write and share about my life, if you have a few minutes, enjoy my latest adventures as of March 2014,

http://bit.ly/1lziq4r

The Last Supper/Communion

Last Supper/communion

Matthew 26: 17-29; Mark 14: 12-25; Luke 22:7-19; John 13 & 14

Jesus instituted communion the night before his crucifixion, and it is has been a part of Christian worship ever since. I have met several, wonderful Jewish people, and one Holy Week in the future, I hope and pray Carter, Ammon, Sean, I can sit and partake of one and think of Jesus and the 12 Apostles eating in fellowship. Passover Seder

Being a Christian/a follower of Jesus Christ and partaking of the bread that represents his body on the cross and sipping the fruit of the vine that represents his blood that was shed for me and all the billions of people on the earth for the remission of our sins is what puts my heart and soul in “communion” with all the billions of saints who are partaking of the Lord’s supper with me. That is a powerful component of Christian worship

I know everyone doesn’t take communion every Sunday, and I kinda wish we would like the Christians of the New Testament (all it takes is a little research of first century Christian worship to understand they took it every Sunday), but in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. However, it’s a part of worship in remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The next time you partake of the Lord’s supper, think of all the billions of Christians you are communing with as well. It’s a pretty awesome thought.

Christian Worship

I hope you all can find somewhere to worship today, or by the time you read this you will have worshipped. The fellowshipping, the singing, the prayers, the communion/Lord’s Supper/Eucharist centering on Jesus Christ…it’s all for our Christian fortification because we need it as we face our daily lives and jobs.

Hebrews 10:25- “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Have a Blessed Sunday, Everyone!

Vince Lombardi

I have never been a Green Bay Packers nor a Vince Lombardi fan, but I have always had respect for them.

Several days ago, I watched an HBO special on Vince Lombardi. What a treat! I know the man probably cursed from time to time, but with years and years of video and video with audio, there was NOT one curse word from that man’s mouth as he spoke to his players, referees, etc.

He went to church (he was a devout Catholic) every day, and often times was the “altar boy” to the priest during services. He chose to do that as an adult. What service! Love was a part of his coaching philosophy, and none of his players that are alive today can deny that.  As a matter of fact, they seem very proud of it.

All coaches from professional league to pee-wee league need to read, watch, and listen to  Vince Lombardi’s teaching and coaching styles and incorporate them  into their professions. His coaching was lead by the Holy Spirit, and it translated from the locker room then on to the field.