Yesterday – Palm Sunday – was the beginning of Holy Week, marking the time when Jesus entered Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna!” Only five days later He died on a cruel Roman cross as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. I recently read a description concerning this historical event that made an impression on me. Jesus was crucified on Friday of Passover week. Passover was the Jewish celebration of God’s deliverance for them from Egyptian slavery and His sparing of the first born from each family. God told Moses to have the people put blood from a sacrificial lamb on the doorposts of each home so the Angel of Death would “pass over” these families. It was a foreshadowing of what Jesus’ blood would do for us.
The words that impacted me as I read said, “Because Jesus is seen as the ‘Ultimate Sacrificial Lamb,’ anyone who accepts the gift of His sacrifice is said to have blood on the doorposts of their hearts. Therefore when the final judgement comes, God will pass them over. In Christ, believers are set free from the power and penalty of sin.” I hope those who read this post have such assurance of their own eternity. Easter is Resurrection Sunday and those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation will one day rise just as He did. What a gift and blessing!
My pastor, Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin, has taught and preached two awesome messages recently entitled, “The Gift of Mercy” and “Jesus Wept.” Both of these sermons have challenged and profoundly impacted my life as a believer in Christ because they helped me reflect more on God’s unselfish, loving gift to mankind as well as asking God to reveal my own motives for why I attend and serve at my church. There were so many strong points that were made and taught including one on the church bombings in Egypt and the question of Who the crowd mentioned in John 12:17-18, and really came to see as they cried, “HOSANNA?” If you want to know more about either sermon or both, I challenge you to watch/listen to those two archived messages on http://www.tphim.org.
Both of those messages helped me to fully understand why the popular saying and/or song, “For God I live, and for God I Will Die,” can no longer be just what I say or sing. It must be who I am, and what God knows in my heart that I would be willing to do when and if my number is called. I must be faithful unto Christ, and unto my own physical death if necessary. In times like these, I must definitely be willing to “Put up or shut-up!”
As we celebrate Easter 2017 with, “HE HAS RISEN-INDEED,” make sure your anchor is really holding onto to the Rock of Ages and not someone or something else. We must trust in HIM like never before because nobody else could do or would be willing to do what Christ did only ONE time for EVERYBODY in this entire world. After all, there is only one true ROCK. His name is JESUS!