Why is it that over 3 billion people are celebrating this week around the globe? As we turn our attention to Holy Week, the most important week in Christianity, I'm confident there are some of you reading this who may not understand the significance of Holy Week. Or, you have someone in your Oikos (relational network) who could use a link to this blog because they just don't "get what it's all about." There are also those who would say they are Christian, but they are not sure about Jesus entirely and they are apathetic about the pursuit of the full truth in Christ.
And, there are those out there that would say they are agnostic, which is a person that believes nothing is known or can be known about God. While the agnostic or apathetic belief system may be a convenient one, it certainly will not get you the answer to the most important question. When it comes to your faith or the lack thereof: What you believe about Jesus is the most important thing in your life. It has implications for this life and the life to come.
Briefly, let me give you an overview of Holy Week. Our attention turns to this miraculous week on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matthew 21:5-9) as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as predicted in Zechariah 9:9, some FIVE centuries before it actually happened:
Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.
Continuing into Holy Week leads us to Thursday, traditionally known as Maundy Thursday. Jesus uses the setting of the Last Supper to be an example by washing the disciples feet before the meal. It reminds us of when Jesus said "I have come to serve, not to be served" Mark 10:45. Maundy Thursday also signifies the remembrance of the Last Supper, the final meal Jesus had with the disciples before he would be arrested later that night. Maundy comes from the latin, mandatum meaning "Commandment" which comes from Jesus' words on that Holy Thursday, in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give you: Love one another."
Good Friday is typically a more sepulchral or subdued time where we as Christians reflect on all that Christ did for us in taking our sins on himself and suffering the punishment and death we deserved on the cross. This is a time of worship, communion, reflection and prayer in churches (online this year) and homes across the world.
Then Sunday, that life-changing, world changing day when Jesus Christ rose from the grave and proved he is who he said he is...God in the flesh, forgiver of sins, giver of hope, purpose and life.
So, why are over 3 billion people celebrating this week? They have figured out the answer to the most important question in life when it comes to Jesus Christ.
The most important thing you have to figure out about Jesus is this …
Is He God or is He a fraud?
Let me give you an example: If I said, “Hi, my name's Jeremy and I teach the Bible and it IS going to help you,” ... you could probably buy that. You may even say (if I paid you enough) that, "Hey, Jeremy's a good teacher." But if I said, Hey my name's Jeremy, I teach the Bible, because, by the way, “I’m God,” ... you’d have a decision to make! Am I who I say I am, or am I a fraud? Because a “good teacher” in their right mind, would never say that they are God. Yet Jesus did say that.
Colossians 1:15 claims that Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the father.” That’s an audacious statement! He claimed to be God many times, even in John 10:30 when he said, "I and the Father are one."
So, Jesus, although he was a good teacher, he never claimed to be just a good teacher. He actually claimed he was God! That leaves humanity with a decision to make, is Jesus who he said he is or is he a fraud?
If you've been around Christianity you'll recall this argument. It's the Liar, Lunatic or Lord argument, and I've added another "L", Likable. It goes like this, Jesus is either a Liar ... a Lunatic ... or he is the Lord. For many people, they may say, "Well, I don't think he is a Liar, or I don't think he is a Lunatic, but I can't say he's the Lord. But I would say he is likable. He taught good things, moral things, he was gentle, he helped people, yeah, he's likable."
But, here's the problem, Jesus doesn't leave us with the option of "Likable." Although he certainly is, he said, "I am God, and when you've seen me, you've seen the Father." That leaves you with a decision to make. He is either a Liar, a Lunatic, or he is the Lord of the universe that over 3 billion people are celebrating this week. The answer to that question in your life, is the most important one you will ever give.
I want to encourage you if you're apathetic or agnostic or even an honest atheist, to dig, do your own research on Jesus, dig into the claims of Christ. Who knows, you just might find what you've been looking for all along; Peace, purpose, happiness, and what over 3 billion people are celebrating this week, salvation in Jesus Christ.
If you want more information please tune in to our Live Good Friday service this Friday (April 10) at 7:00pm PST and our Easter Sunday services at 9:00am, 10:30am, 3:00pm, and 5:00pm PST, all available on www.skylinechurch.org.
God bless you, happy Holy Week, and keep your head up, we're going to get through this Coronavirus together.
And if you're interested in getting baptized, let me know by filling out our Connection Card. Just check Baptism in the Next Steps section and we'll get connected!