In the last column, I began by asking the question if you ever said, "What a Week!"? This week is Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and climaxing with the Resurrection of Jesus. The crowds that shout "Hosanna!" on Sunday change to "Crucify Him!" by Thursday, and that crucifixion happens on Friday. And we think that we have had difficult weeks.
On Tuesday, the Jewish feast of Passover began. This is celebrating the time when God brought the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt through various signs. The last sign was the Passover, in which all the houses of the Hebrew people that had the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and the beam were spared the killing of the firstborn. It is as the disciples were celebrating this feast with Jesus that He gave them the New Passover, what we call Communion or the Eucharist. He, the Lamb of God, gives His body and blood so that the faithful will not perish but have the angel of eternal death pass over each one and not be condemned to hell.
You might note that He gives this feast to all of His disciples. This included Judas who betrayed Him, Peter who denied Him, Thomas who doubted Him, and the others who fled and abandoned Him. This is given to forgive sins. Unfortunately, Judas rejected it, since he thought that he was too bad. Jesus offered this forgiveness because He knew that He was going to be crucified for the sins of the whole world. No one was too bad to miss, and no one was too good not to need it. His first words from the cross were, "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
The message of this week is just that to each one of us. We need the forgiveness He offers. No one is to evil for this forgiveness. The message of the resurrection is that He comes to us to give us new life through this forgiveness of sin. True, each sin that you or I commit is again putting the nail into His hands to crucify Him, but again, He says, "Father forgive them." The Holy Spirit tries to lead us to repent of our sin to receive His forgiveness, but Satan works hard to lead us to believe one of two things: either we are not too bad, better than others, and possibly do not need forgiveness; or that we are too evil and cannot be forgiven. Both of those thoughts are a lie, but then the devil is the chief of liars. This Easter, instead of being misled by the Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs, allow Jesus to do what He does best, forgive your sins. May you be blessed as you celebrate true resurrection.