Monday, March 17, 2008

Holy Week: Monday, March 17, 2008

Old Testament Lesson

Lamentations 1:1-12

We see in this first day of Holy Week that the reads start off with Lamentations. This is the book of the Bible where Jeremiah gets his nickname, the "Weeping Prophet."  He writes these words as he stands among his city, Jerusalem, which has been completely devastated by the invaders. He stands among the ruins of this once magnificent and beautiful city, that is now laid to waste.  And his heart was broken. 

As we draw close to the cross this week, do we take time to notice the cuts upon the back, and the sides, and the face of our Savior? Do we take the time to notice the beatings that He received?  Do we pause and remember insults hurled?  The men that pulled His beard or spit upon Him? To reflect upon all He endured for our sake and for our Salvation?  

New Testament Lesson

2 Corinthians 1:1-7

During Holy Week, as we draw close to Good Friday and the cross, it is easy to allow ourselves, though, to think only of the cross. Paul reminds us today, that as great as the sufferings of Christ were, greater still is the consolation and love that flows from the empty cross. Remember, the cross was not suffering for sufferings sake. Thought the work of the cross and the empty grave of Easter, the power of sin, death, and the grave are defeated. Great is the suffering of the cross. Greater is the victory of the empty grave.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 11:12-25

They had made the Temple not into a place of worship, but into a place of profit.  People were not able to worship God unless they were able to buy the right dove of birds for the sacrifice.  Instead of being able to freely come to God, worship and receive what He had for His people, they had to do through all the constants that these men had placed upon them. You must be the right bird.  You must come in the right way. You must stand in the right way.  You must sing and chant in the right way.  You must do it only as we tell you to.  

Jesus said, no, you can come freely to God. I shared in my sermon yesterday that people are not dying today for religion. There is enough religion out there.  People are not desperate for religion. They are desperate for the grace and love of Jesus. They are desperate for relationship. 

The money changers where selling religion. Jesus was offering relationship. Today, may we realise our true need. And may we find the relationship, the friendship, that He is offering today.  

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