The week, known to many as Easter Week, began with a celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. He entered as the Scriptures foretold he would, on a donkey and the people celebrating by waving palm branches and spreading cloaks on the ground before him. This wonderful celebration, however, did not last long.
Even though Christ knew what was a ahead of him, he still rode on. He went forward. The week turned into a time of final teaching and a final meal with those who were the closest to him. It was the time of the Passover remembrance for the Jewish Nation as they remembered their freedom from slavery in Egypt. It was and is their Fourth of July. The Passover Meal was the Last Supper for Jesus.
CUMC will remember that last supper, the Passover Meal from the account given in the Gospel of John.
That night, following the Last Supper, as Jesus was in the garden praying, he was betrayed by one of his own and taken to be tried under false accusations. The trials, two of them, lasted the night and into the following day. That night, what we call Good Friday by some and Black Friday by others, Jesus died by crucifixion, the cruelest form of death that was known to the Romans of the time.
Following his death, he was placed in a burial tomb with the usual preparations of the body put on hold because it was the Jewish Sabbath. That would be Saturday. The next day, the first day of the week, Sunday to us, the tomb was found to be empty. No one knew what had happened to him until he appeared to those he was the closest to. For some, this resurrection, this coming back to life from the dead, is very difficult to believe, yet it remains the one event that separates the beliefs of all Christians from the beliefs of other religions. That Sunday, that first day of the week, we now call Easter Sunday, but it seems that it should really be called Resurrection Day.
It is because of that Resurrection Day, we too have hope for an eternal future.
CUMC will celebrate those above noted days as follows:
Thursday April 21 — 6 p.m., Passover Meal following the Gospel of John.
Friday April 22 — 7:30 p.m., Remembering the tragic night of His death.
Sunday April 24 — 7 a.m., Sonrise Service at Golden Peaks Stadium, celebration of the Resurrection at 8:15 and 11 a.m. at CUMC.