Last night as I was preparing to host an Easter lunch for various grad students who don’t have family in town, I got really excited about Sunday. I couldn’t help but get caught up in the joy of the songs I was picking out – JESUS is ALIVE!!!
But today isn’t Easter. Today is Maundy Thursday, the night my Lord was betrayed.
Today I am so grateful for this bit of liturgy that almost every church celebrates, Baptists to Catholics. We all recognize that the only way to the celebration of Easter is through the death and pain of the cross.
The celebration that JESUS is ALIVE is only a celebration because, for three days, Jesus was dead.
We cannot rejoice at our salvation without recognizing the death we were saved from.
So, tonight, we remember. We remember Christ’s final commands to His disciples. We remember the meal He gave them. We strip the altar in remembrance of the life being stripped from Jesus. Tomorrow, we sing a requiem, as for three brief days Nietzsche is right: “God is dead.”
As I watch my Lord hand Himself over, suffer ex-cruc-iating pain, and surrender His life, I feel the immense weight of what He did for me. I see Him experience what I deserve.
Without these rememberances, Resurrection Sunday is just another day.
I invite you to spend these next few days drinking in the weight of what happened two thousand years ago.
See you on Sunday.