Beautiful weather is upon us! It is exciting to begin to see signs of new life: green shoots poking through the brown earth, budding trees, flowers blooming, robins singing. Spring is the perfect time to reflect on how we, too, have been made a new creation.
Next week is the time set aside by the Christian church to remember the last days of Jesus' life, as well as the pain and death he suffered taking our place to receive the punishment of our sins. In our study of the book of Matthew we are focusing on the events of Passion Week. Throughout our study, we have been watching the word-for-word enactment of The Gospel of Matthew presented by The Visual Bible. For some students, seeing the man who has been teaching and preaching, with loving compassion and tenderness, to now be sacrificed on the cross for our sins can be quite emotional.
I encourage you take time with your family to reflect on Jesus' life and death, both in worship and in reading the Passion account from one of the gospels. Why would anyone take such pain upon himself? It is amazing to think that we could be loved so much! It's truly beyond our understanding. And what does this mean for us? Romans 6:4 talks about how we have been buried with Christ - our sins have been taken to the grave - so that "just as Christ was raised from the death through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." Celebrate this new life!!
I encourage you to worship with your children on these special days ahead. We will celebrate the fulfillment of the prophecies as Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Then we’ll join the disciples in the upper room on Maundy Thursday to see the remarkable transformation of the Passover into Holy Communion - Jesus himself became our saving Lamb of sacrifice. Honor the Good Friday on which Christ died for our sins and the temple veil was torn in two - the separation that sin had caused between us and our Lord is no more. And finally the glorious day of resurrection, EASTER, when we celebrate our victory in Christ over sin, death, and the devil. There is nothing we could ever do to deserve this love. What a wonderful opportunity we have before us to learn and to grow in our faith - to praise and thank God for this glorious gift!!
To see a clip from The Gospel of Matthew click this link. Palm Sunday begins at about 5 min 30 sec.