In this season of the year Christians all over the world turn their thoughts and hearts to contemplating the final weeks of Jesus’ human life. Here at NBC we are highlighting the ultimate mission for which the Lord Jesus came to this world. After 3 years of teaching the people and ministering to their needs, the feast of Passover approached when Jesus knew he would fulfill its meaning. John the Baptist heralded Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Despite the terrible cost of being our sacrificial lamb, Jesus determinedly set his face toward Jerusalem and the events he knew would unfold.
The religious leaders publicly denounced Jesus as a fugitive and publicly pressured anyone knowing of his whereabouts to turn him in to the authorities. Despite this pressure from their leaders Jesus would be hailed as the Christ, the Son of David with right to rule over Israel, by a huge crowd of his disciples. For several days Jesus demonstrated his divine authority in God’s temple challenging hindrances to worship and prayer. Then he taught God’s word, healed the sick, delivered those who were bound, and received praise even from little children.
Jesus also demonstrated his authority by frustrating every tactic of his enemies. He evaded every trap they set for him and discerned every deceitful petitioner, recognizing their attempts to trick him into saying something they could publicly condemn him for. Over several days the leaders watched Jesus heal, witnessed his teaching, and regarded the adulation of the crowds while all their efforts proved powerless to trick, hinder or much less detain him. Even soldiers sent to arrest him returned with no excuse for not carrying out the arrest warrant except, “No one ever spoke like this man!”
Then at God’s time Jesus permitted his enemies to arrest him and put him on trial. He answered not a word to challenge their accusations against him. He yielded to their judgment condemning him to die as a criminal. He quietly bore suffering, abuse, ridicule, and a cruel death through crucifixion.
Jesus life and purpose was not to show how God can prevent bad things from happening; we would like this. God desires to demonstrate what the Apostle Paul calls his “all surpassing power” through Jesus, and now through Jesus’ followers. When God’s opponents do their worst, God is at his best! Jesus passed through death and then rose to life on the third day! His resurrection was accompanied by an angel whose appearance was like lightening and a violent earthquake. The angel rolled away the stone sealed by the government of Rome and struck the Roman guard with quivering fear that caused them to fall to the ground and then to flee. Jesus walked out of the tomb alive and glorified with the work of our salvation finished!
This Easter we celebrate these well-known events and we invite you to join us for our services which will be online for all to watch and participate in.
Palm Sunday is March 28th when we remember the events of Jesus entrance to Jerusalem in the manner prophesied in Zechariah 9:9, and was hailed by the crowd as their King!
Good Friday is April 2nd when we remember Jesus’ suffering and death. This year we will join with a number of other churches in Winnipeg participating in recording a joint Good Friday service. We hope you will join us Good Friday to watch this recorded service online, and share it with others.
Easter or Resurrection Sunday is April 4th when we remember Jesus’ triumphant liberation from the tomb! This service is celebratory with rejoicing in Jesus’ being raised from death. Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin is complete; we are freed from fear of death and rejoice in hope of eternal life with him.
As we enter this meaningful season on the Christian calendar may we all contemplate the importance of Jesus life and actions on our behalf. Take time to read the Gospels and fitting Scriptures on Jesus suffering. Come to God in reverent prayer. Offer to God our joyful praise and thankful rejoicing in his love and mercy to us. May the meaning and experience of all Jesus did to obtain our salvation be yours in abundance this year.