Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday-Holy Week Edition

As a church, as a couple, and as an individual, much time each day this week has been/will be spent contemplating the events in the week before Christ's crucifixion.  Here's what I love from this week:

I love God's timing.  Thousands of Jewish pilgrims were in Jerusalem for Passover when Jesus entered the city gates on Palm Sunday.  The fact that Jesus would soon be called the ultimate Passover Lamb wouldn't be lost of many of them.

I love how so many recognized the kingship of Jesus as they extolled Him and called Him the Son of David during His entry.

I love how God uses the simplest, wildest things (a unbroken donkey) to carry His most glorious Possession.  God calls us, sinners redeemed, to carry His great message.

I love how Jesus demanded purity and repentance by casting out those who tried to turn His Father's home (the temple) into a place of snide business practices.  Again, this is a perfect example to us.  Just because we can sin because His blood is an atoning sacrifice for us doesn't make it permissible to sin.    

I love how Jesus passionately taught in the days leading to His death.  He shared parables that made known His Lordship without being commandeering, He declared how we all must love.  Jesus warned about foretelling His return.

I love the tenderness Jesus used with the poor woman who came to anoint Him with oil.  What a beautiful picture of accepting gifts and love from all.

I love the  example Jesus sets by serving His best friends by washing their dirty feet.  Friends of mine hate feet because they see them as dirty, but I can only imagine how dirty feet were two thousand years ago.  Feet walked everywhere and were probably rarely if ever in closed toed shoes.  Talk about dirt!  Jesus loved His friends enough to take on the role of a servant by cleaning their feet so they could share a meal together.

I love the meal that Jesus shared with His friends.  He was so honest with them.  How many of us are that honest with our friends?  How often do we let in our friends on that level of transparency?

I love the Heart that was poured out before God in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus begged for another way to save humanity from her depravity, but was willing to summit to God's will no matter the cost.  Jesus poured out His heart in prayer for His disciples and then for all who would learn to call Him Lord.  His testament is stunning.

I love how Simon Peter desperately wanted to defend his friend.  His actions weren't right, but his heart was in the right place.

I love how Peter was broken over his denials of Jesus.  How many of us have been in those same shoes-shamed at the words that just came out of our mouths?  And oh, how graciously Jesus opens His arms to accept us right back.  Beauty.

I love Jesus's humility during His trials in front of Annas, the High Priest, and Pilate.  He could have cast off all of them and declared His Kingdom, but He knew that wasn't God's will.

I love Simon of Cyrene's willingness to carry the burden of the cross for his beaten and bruised Lord.  When the going was tough, Simon was not willing to turn his face from the One he knew was Truth.

I love those coarse nails that pieced my Jesus.  I don't love what they did, but I love what they represent.  I love Jesus's willingness to sacrifice Himself for every person.  I love His humility and determination to do the right thing even when the pain was unimaginable.  I love the broken body and blood that 2000 years later would bring me to redemption...oh, precious, precious Jesus!

I love the words Jesus mustered energy to speak from the cross.  Forgiveness.  Pure forgiveness.

I love that the curtain separating God from His people in the temple was torn in two at Christ's death.  No longer would anything separate God from those who claimed Him because of Christ's willingness to be the sacrificial lamb for all time.

I love the brokenness of Jesus's family and friends after His death.  It is raw and ugly and so real.  They wept and mourned and doubted all that they had held true for 3 years-some for 33 years.  They showed us it's ok to doubt, to question and ponder.

And, oh, how I love that empty tom!.  Hope was restored, sin erased, joy reborn on Easter morning.  My God is HUGE.  He conquerors death and bridges the gap to Him with His perfect plan.

Jesus, may I never lose sight of living each moment to Your glory.  Amen.

*From Matthew 21-28, Mark 11-16, Luke 19:28-24:12,  and John 12-20

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