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Pastor's Blog

Revolutionary Sacrifice

By March 25, 2024No Comments

The events of Holy Week, including Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, His Last Supper, crucifixion, and resurrection, hold great significance for all humanity. For believers, these events shape the foundation of their faith. The sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection of Jesus are the central events that offer redemption, hope, and eternal life to believers, impacting their personal lives and influencing the course of history through the enduring message of God’s love and the forgiveness and salvation found in Christ.

As we embark on this Holy Week journey, let us fix our eyes on the revolutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. From the jubilant shouts of Palm Sunday to the triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, let us delve into the profound significance of Christ’s finished work on the cross. I pray that as we take a bird’s eye view of the events of Passion Week, we will grasp the transformative power of Christ’s revolutionary sacrifice and share the message of redemption with others.

Let’s begin with a look at Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, as described in the Gospels. Jesus rode into the city on a donkey. At the same time, crowds greeted Him with palm branches, shouting “Hosanna” (Matthew 21:9). This event marks the beginning of Holy Week, leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It symbolizes Jesus’ role as the Messiah and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Zech 9:9). This moment foreshadowed the revolutionary nature of Christ’s mission.

Picture the scene. Jesus comes as a humble king riding on a donkey, welcomed with adoration by the crowds. Little did they know, He was on a mission far greater than earthly conquest. Prominent 19th-century English preacher and theologian Charles Spurgeon explained, “Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is a declaration of His kingship, but not in the earthly sense. He came to establish His kingdom in the hearts of men.”

Many events occurred during Passion Week leading up to the cross. However, Let’s take a moment to focus on Jesus’ Last Supper. The Last Supper was the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples before His crucifixion. During the meal, Jesus predicted His betrayal by Judas and instituted the sacrament of communion (Luke 22:19-20). The significance of the bread and wine as symbols of Christ’s body and blood foreshadows His sacrifice on the cross and is a reminder for believers today. When Jesus instituted the sacrament of communion at the Last Supper, He set a practice for believers to engage in that reminds us of the profound cost of our salvation as well as His profound love for each of us.

After sharing the Last Supper with His disciples, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray, where Judas later betrayed Him and He was arrested. I can still remember the emotions I felt when I visited this site. Gethsemane is a garden outside Jerusalem. Jesus prayed here on the night before His crucifixion. He experienced profound anguish, praying to God the Father and asking if it were possible for the cup of suffering to be taken from Him, yet ultimately surrendering to God’s will (Luke 22:42).

Jesus, in Gethsemane, was confronted with the call to carry the full weight of all of our sin, and He willingly chose to endure the cross, demonstrating perfect obedience to God the Father and profound love for each of us. After being arrested in Gethsemane, Jesus endured a series of events leading up to His crucifixion. He was taken before Jewish religious authorities, subjected to multiple trials, accused of blasphemy and sedition, and eventually handed over to Roman authorities. Jesus faced interrogation by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who ultimately sentenced Him to death by crucifixion. Along the way, Jesus endured being mocked, beatings, and the carrying of His cross before being nailed to it and left to die.

I want to draw our attention to Jesus’ last words on the cross, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30). The phrase “It is finished” uttered by Jesus on the cross, carries profound significance. These final words of Christ on the cross declared the completion and fulfillment of His mission on Earth; specifically, Jesus accomplished the atonement for all our sins through His sacrificial death on the cross.

This declaration is a testament to the completeness and sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins for all who believe in Him.

R.C. Sproul rightly explained, “The cross is the ultimate expression of God’s love for humanity. It is where justice and mercy intersect, and where sin is atoned for once and for all.” When Jesus declared, “It is finished,” He proclaimed the ultimate triumph of God’s love and grace over sin and death, providing hope and redemption for all who genuinely believe in Him. In light of all Christ has done, how can we do anything less than receive Him as Savior and Lord, experience His transformative power provided by Him through His revolutionary sacrifice, and share the message of redemption with others.

Imagine you’re stranded in the middle of a vast ocean, surrounded by turbulent waves and unable to find your way back to shore. You’re exhausted, hopeless, and desperate for rescue. Suddenly, a sturdy lifeboat appears, manned by a compassionate captain who offers you a lifeline to safety. Accepting Christ as Savior is like grabbing hold of the lifeline and allowing Him to pull you into the safety of the boat. As you come aboard, you experience His transformative power firsthand – your fears are replaced with peace, your despair with hope, and your emptiness with fulfillment. You become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), transformed by His love and grace. But there is more. Just as you’ve been rescued and brought to safety, you are now responsible for sharing the good news with others still lost at sea. You become a beacon of hope, guiding others to the lifeboat of salvation and inviting them to experience the transformative power of Christ for themselves.

As we journey through Holy Week, may we be deeply moved by the revolutionary sacrifice of Christ. Let us cling to the cross, knowing that through His finished work, we have been redeemed, forgiven, and made new. May His love compel us to share this message of hope with a world around us where we live, work, go to school, and play. Christ dying on the cross is a sobering reality, but wait, Sunday is on the way, and believers have much to celebrate. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!