Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
The season of Lent will soon end. The journey walking and remembering Jesus walking with his followers from the wilderness to the cross will soon be over. The journey began for the disciples with anticipation of restoring the throne of David with Jesus as the king. Those hopeful expectations were crushed during the events of Holy Week. The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem gave way to the betrayal, persecution, and ultimately crucifixion of Jesus.
As we walk through Holy Week, we remember Jesus was glad to celebrate the Passover meal in order to remind the disciples that God delivered them in the past and would continue to deliver them. From the meal we continue to celebrate in Holy Communion, we remember, despite whatever awful things we face, Christ is with us to draw us close and face the danger with us.
Through the crucifixion, we face with Jesus our own mortality. We confront suffering, shame, and abandonment. Jesus loved and forgave even in this extreme. This was not just the death of a noble person, demonstrating courage and grace. This was not a kind of theoretical mediation to accept punishment due humanity. “Rather, we might see in the crucifixion of Jesus the ultimate act...in which Jesus announces the end of a world of death… and takes that death into his own person.” (Brueggemann, 91)
Jesus accepted death on a cross and showed us that mortal death is not the end of the story - life and relationship with God continues. Through resurrection from death, Jesus begins a new reality for humanity. “The resurrection can only be received, affirmed and celebrated as the new action of God whose province it is to create new futures for people and to let them be amazed in the midst of despair… it is the ultimate act of… energizing in which a new history is initiated.” (Brueggemann, 107)
The feast of Easter is Christianity’s greatest time of celebration. However, to celebrate Easter without walking the pilgrimage from Ash Wednesday through Holy Week is much like being thankful that Jesus forgives our sins, without acknowledging we actually have any sins or need any forgiveness. I encourage everyone to walk with us to the completion of our journey, in the bold assurance that whatever happens to us, God is making a way for us through mortal death into immortality!
Grace and Peace,
The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press Books, copyright 1978