April Message

April is a BIG month this year.  The major reason for this is because Easter is late this year, right in the middle of April.

We begin celebrating the Passion of Lord with Palm Sunday, on April 13. On
Palm Sunday, we celebrate our Lord’s Triumphant entry into the Holy City
of Jerusalem. The King of Kings has fulfilled the Scriptures, to be in,
with, and amongst His favorite people.  This is a time of great celebration and joy with singing and rejoicing. The King of Kings has arrived to do battle against our enemies of sin, Satan, and death.

Holy Week reminds us that things change quickly, and that the old is constantly replaced by the new.  On Maundy Thursday, we find Jesus
celebrating the Passover Meal with His Disciples, as Jews, in the Upper Room. Within this celebration of the Jewish Passover Meal, Jesus
institutes the Lord’s Supper for Christians. In giving to us the gift of Holy Communion, Jesus provides us a way for our sins and the sins
committed against us to be forgiven and removed forever. In this Holy Meal, Jesus also provides a way for us to connect with Him, and for Him to connect with us, as He continues to be in, with and amongst us, His holy people.

The joy of Holy Communion is soon replaced with sadness and sorrow as Jesus is betrayed and arrested, and has to go through a sacred trial under the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. They find Jesus guilty of blasphemy
claiming to be the Son of God.  The Jews were under Roman rule and could not put Jesus to death. So, they manipulated Pontius Pilate, the Roman
Governor, to sentence Jesus to death by crucifixion.

This brings us to Good Friday. All the faithful are filled with sadness, sorrow, and awe, as Jesus must die on a Cross on Good Friday. Believers
understand that Jesus must suffer and die as our replacement and substitute, to make payment for our sins and disobedience, so that we are
forgiven, and can have total salvation.  At the end of the Good Friday Service is “The Strepitus.”  A door is slammed before the people leave in
silence. “The Strepitus” reminds us of the finality of death and the lid that will be placed over our coffin as we are entombed. It also points to
the stone rolled in front of the entrance to the tomb of Jesus.

The next day is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, in which no man can work.

The next day is Easter Sunday. Now, sadness and sorrow are replaced with happiness and joy. For Jesus is risen. The Light has conquered the
darkness. Sin, death, and the power of the grave could not hold Jesus. The stone was rolled away from the entrance of the tomb, not to let Jesus out, but rather, to let the world in, to witness the miracle of the
Resurrection. Now, sounds of trumpets and singing fill the air. For, Jesus is, and will always be the Resurrection and the Life.

The Passion of Christ is for you. May you take time to celebrate and ponder its mysteries and miracles.

Have a Great April
Pastor Brad Rick


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