Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is Holy Week!
Someone has said that Easter is not a day but a season. For nearly 2000 years Christians have celebrated this season and its culmination in the greatest event in human history; the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This week started yesterday with Palm Sunday, where we remember Jesus' Triumphal Entry. In the Book of Exodus Chapter 12 it reads:
"The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 'This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor , having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight."
Exodus 12:1-6 NIV
The lamb selected is called the Paschal lamb. The Paschal lamb was to be one years old and without blemish. The lamb was kept in the open or tied to a bedpost, so that he could be observed for four days to confirm that he was "without blemish."
On Palm Sunday thousands of lambs were selected to be displayed for the next four days until they were sacrificed on Passover.
Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, four days before Passover, is not a coincidence. As He was approaching Jerusalem He was met by a great crowd who took palm branches and their on cloaks and laid them on the road he road in on, shouting:
"Hosanna to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna, in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9 NIV).
John's Gospel recorded that the crowd call Him the, "King of Israel" and Mark records the crowd saying, "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David." The crowd was made up of those who followed Jesus from Bethany as well as many who were already in Jerusalem for the Passover week. Inspired by Lazarus' being brought back to life, the crowd's sang out, "Hosanna," which means Jehovah saves. Oh, what a fickle crowd they turned out to be.
Most important for us, is to be reminded that Jesus came into Jerusalem on "lamb selection day," the 10th of Nisan, as the "Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29 NIV).
Peter says that we were redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb with out blemish or defect" (1st Peter 1:19 NIV).
Paul says, "For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Cor. 5:7 NIV).
The Hebrew Writer says, "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him" (Hebrews 9:28).
John records what he saw and heard in heaven:
"the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise" (Rev. 5:11-12 NIV).
In a time when all around us are losing their heads we can and should be confident in any circumstance. Our God has demonstrated, time after time, His capacity to work out all things precisely as His prophets have predicted. Jesus walked into Jerusalem on the exact day of the selection of the lambs and in the manner Zechariah 9:9 described:
"Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey"
May God Richly Bless You My Beloved,