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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Glory of Easter Week

The time of year that many churches celebrate Easter is quickly approaching us.  Certainly we should celebrate the resurrection throughout the whole of our lives, but this is the time of year when the subject is pressed upon the world once again.  Religion has impacted the world for over 6,000 years in some way or the other.  From the time of Adam and Eve until today religion has played a key role in individual lives, groups, and even nations.  There have been countless arguments, divisions, and even wars over religious issues.  In the countless topics of discussions that could be talked about there is one thing that we can be certain of.  The writers of the Gospels understood the last eight days of Jesus life to be of the most importance.  Numerous references could be listed from the Old Testament and the New Testament that refer to the last eight days of Jesus' life, but it is for certain that the gospels make this fact obvious.

Jesus lived on earth approximately 33 years and had a 3 year active public ministry.  Yet we find that the bulk of the gospel material centers on the last eight days of his life.  There are 89 chapters in the four gospels and twenty-nine and a half of these (exactly 1/3) cover the time between the Triumphal Entry and Jesus' resurrection.  In this time period we learn of the cleansing of the temple, his final teaching, the institution of the Lord's Supper, his arrest, and his trial and crucifixion.  Matthew devotes 1/4 of his Gospel to the last eight days (chaps. 21-28).  Mark devotes 1/3 of his Gospel (chaps. 11-16).  Luke devotes 1/5 of his Gospel (chaps. 19:28-24).  John devotes half of his Gospel (chaps. 12-21).  The very climax of redemptive history is found in the last eight days of Jesus life and the writers of the Gospels are obviously aware of this.

For a few thousand years the Old Testament has been proclaiming that the Messiah would come and save his people (Psa. 118:25; Isa. 62:11; etc.) from their sin.  The book of Acts immediately follows the gospels and records the history of the birth of the local church that would spread around the entire globe.  The epistles give clarity as to how the church is to function in light of what was accomplished in the last eight days of the life of Christ.  Revelation reveals to us that the One who made His entry into Jerusalem to suffer and die Υπέρ (on the behalf) of His sheep is going to come again riding on a white horse and conquering all His enemies.

Thus, since the entire bible is centered around the last eight days of the life of Jesus it stands to reason that the local church should place a high priority upon the worship of King Jesus during this time of the year.  The final eight days of Jesus' life have brought eternal ramifications to every tribe and tongue and nation.  I pray that you will not make Easter common this year, but that you will glory in the Redeemer who gave His life on Calvary's tree to pay a full payment for sins and to clothe His children with righteousness.

Seven things worth meditating on this Easter:
1)  The Humility of King Jesus (Matt. 21:1-11)
2)  The Wisdom of King Jesus (Matt. 21:28-32, 33-46; 22:1-14; 25:1-13, 14-30)
3)  The 2nd Coming of King Jesus (Matt. 24:1-51; 25:31-46)
4)  The Sacrifice of King Jesus (Matt. 26:1-5, 57-68; 27:1-2, 11-14)
5)  The Bread and Wine of King Jesus (Matt. 26:17-29)
6)  The Redemption Accomplished by King Jesus (Matt. 27:15-61)
7)  The Resurrection of King Jesus (Matt. 28:1-20)

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