Approximately 2000 years ago the events that happened in one week turned out to be a game changer for the entire human race. Here is how it went down.
This man called Jesus stands outside of Jerusalem and is distressed over what he sees. In fact it brings him to tears. He sees thousands of people searching for something they are unable to find.
What were they looking for? A freedom from disquieting and oppressive thoughts and emotions. They were looking for peace!
Moments later this Jesus mounts a donkey - actually the colt of a donkey - and begins his descent into town declaring that he is the Prince of Peace!
However the events that followed were anything but peaceful.
The people are excited and sing the praise of this peacemaker. But the authorities ask him to silence the crowds. “I can’t,” he claims “If they are suppressed then the rocks themselves will sing out!”
Rocks, sing? Really?! Who is this man?
Once in town he enters the local place of worship, known as the temple. As he enters he takes note of all that is going on, leaves and returns the next day.
Upon his return he disrupts the scene as he overturns tables and drives both people and animals out of the temple. Declaring, "This is a place of worship, not a marketplace where you take advantage of people!"
He leaves the city once again, only to return the next day. Seemingly still upset he curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit. To the amazement of those watching, the fig tree dries up.
As he reenters the city his authority is questioned. But he does not give a direct answer. He only answers their question with a question.
He then began to tell stories, parables he called them, fictional stories that taught spiritual and moral truths. Some liked his stories while others took offense to them. Those offended by them began to plot how they could silence him. They tried to ensnare him by his own words, but he was on to them. He quickly outwitted them at their own game.
As he exited the temple, those with him noticed the elaborate architecture of the temple. Drawing his attention to its details, Jesus responded by saying it was just a matter of time until it would be reduced to rubble!
Asking when this would happen, Jesus began a discourse telling them about the end of ages. After giving recognizable signs of the demise, he then said as for the exact time and day, only one person knew and it was not him! But without telling them how or why, he warned them to not let the day catch them by surprise.
All the while a plot is unfolding to put an end to this "Prince of Peace".
After celebrating dinner with some of his closest friends, they leave together. While resting in a quiet olive garden just outside of town, a band of temple guards break the stillness of the night. Led by one of his own, they arrest Jesus. Those who had followed him to the garden scatter in fear of their own arrest.
Under the cover of darkness Jesus is taken back into town, where he faces several mock trials. Unable to make any charges stick, in an unforeseen turn of events, a condemned criminal is released and Jesus is sentenced to death by the demand of the crowd.
As evening approaches he is led to the place of execution where he will join two others who are facing a certain end as well.
After being nailed to a cross this “Prince of Peace” is lifted into the air, where he is suspended between earth and sky.
As some mock and others wail, Jesus takes a final breath and utters, “IT IS FINISHED”. As the last of his breath leaves his body, so does his spirit. The Prince of Peace is dead!
But wait! What did he mean “It is finished!”?
Let me invite you to join us this Friday evening at one of our campuses for the answer to that question. If you cannot make it to one of our physical campuses, do everything you can join us online.
I look forward to sharing the rest of the story with you then!
Good Friday Service Times & Locations
Good Friday Service Times & Locations