Holy Week will be here before we know it. This year it is the week of March 20th. This special week includes some of the most meaningful experiences of our faith – Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. We go from the triumphant celebration of Jesus entering Jerusalem amid waving palm branches, to the somber last supper he had with his disciples, into the dark despair of his agonizing death on the cross, back to jubilant celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on Easter and his victory over sin and death. It is a week of emotional highs and lows.
This leads to the question:
Do you have a “Good Friday Faith” or an “Easter Faith”?
Which is the message you carry in your heart – is it
“Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins because he loves me so much,”
or is it
“He is risen! He is risen indeed! I have abundant, eternal life and joy!” ?
I was raised with the words of the Good Friday faith, because the only way I would get into heaven after I died was to believe and completely trust that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
And I do.
Then I was touched by the power of the resurrected and living Christ.
I wanted to tell my friends about Jesus Christ because of a joy that welled up within me as a result of knowing Jesus in a personal way. (This was years before I even thought about becoming a pastor!)
So, which is better? A “Good Friday Faith” or an “Easter Faith”?
Both. In our faith, like in our life, we need a balance. On one hand, we need to remember that we are in need of forgiveness for the bad things we do. On the other had, we need to celebrate the wonderful new life we have been given through Jesus and share this joy with others.
This is important to remember as we remember our congregation’s vision of Resounding God’s Grace! We are called to share the love and grace and abundant life which can be experienced today and for eternity. This is message we need to share with everyone, especially those who have not truly heard and responded to this invitation of Jesus. And when we are also honest about the price Jesus paid for our forgiveness, the cost and value of this wonderful invitation, it calls for a response from each of us.
As we Resound God’s Grace to all,
May God Bless Us!