Faith Community Online

Friday’s Blog

Filed under: Blog,Passion Week — Pastor David Apr 18, 2014 @ 5:24 am

Should Christians today celebrate the Passover? It seems that all of the Old Testament celebrations are fulfilled in Christ’s death and resurrection, esp. the Passover. Luke 24:25-27, and 44-47! Paul also stated that we are not obliged to practice the Old Testament rituals since they are a shadow or a picture of what Christ completed (Col. 2:16-17).

However, recently, there has been a renewed interest in the Passover and its celebration in history. What happened after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in 32 AD? What did the early apostles and church do with the Passover celebration?

Surprisingly, Apostles John, Philip, and their disciples continued to celebrate the Passover on the exact dates for the duration of their lives. This continued until the time of Emperor Constantine in 300 AD. Constantine outlawed the practice by the churches under the Roman government. The Council of Nicaea in 325 AD agreed to discontinue this celebration on Nissan the 14th to the 21st as the ancient Jews did. It seems then, that the cancellation was not one from a Biblical perspective but from a political bent to disavow the Jews because they crucified the Christ. This gave rise to a movement to hate and repudiate Jews of the following generations. The church began calling Jews “Christ-killers.” The church took a dark turn in many respects and now we have to wonder about the celebration of Passover today.

I am content that Jesus fulfilled the meaning of Passover and that we may not be under compulsion to celebrate it today. But it does not mean that you should not or cannot celebrate it! If anyone wished to celebrate the Passover as their way to remember Christ and see the great truths locked up in this event, why not?! I think the early apostles did just that. After seeing their traditions of over 1400 years realized in what Jesus did on the cross it made it all the more meaningful to them. Remember Luke 24:44-45 and how Jesus opened their minds to be able to  see these truths hidden in the Old Testament. It was then that they saw the Passover meal and realized it was symbolic of all that the cross brought to the world. His death is our life, His loss is our gain and His poverty is our wealth. His judgment results in our forgiveness and His rejection… our acceptance! We are spared the wrath of God and are freed from the power of Satan, sin, and the self-centered nature we have inherited from Adam.

This day should certainly receive greater prominence for us because it is a day like no other for every Christ-follower. You will not find a command that says that we are to celebrate the Passover, but it could be something we do in the future as a gesture of love and respect for the great accomplishment of our Passover Lamb. “Behold, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.”

Father, thank You for sending Your Son to die in our place. Words cannot express all we owe to You. As the hymn says, “I scarce can take it in, that on the cross my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away our sins. How great Thou art!” In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday’s Blog

Filed under: Blog,Passion Week — Pastor David Apr 17, 2014 @ 5:23 am

The rejection of Christ has now begun. Judas has set the place to privately conspire against Christ joining the leaders to arrest and execute Jesus in a setting without resistance by the crowds. Christ takes the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where they will pray. Jesus spends three hours in prayer preparing for the hour of betrayal. He alone knows what is unfolding. The other disciples are completely unaware. They fail the Lord as they sleep through each requested hour to “watch and pray”.  Now 800 soldiers arrive with torches and clubs and weapons. Off they lead Jesus from the quiet evening to an awaiting tribunal. The plan of selfish men who want power is now in full bloom.

In the middle of this surprising hour Peter decides to swing one sword against all odds. Christ stops him and says, “Don’t you know I could call for twelve legions of angels right now and they would come!” 72,000 angels! From the visible perspective it looked like the soldiers were in complete control. But what is Jesus revealing? The unseen world has 72,000 angels surrounding that very place waiting for one small word of permission and down with heaven’s thunder they would descend.

As we follow Christ we may face hours of surprising rejection too. What Peter learned that night was a truth of immense strength. It may be a surprise to me but not to Christ! I may feel helpless and I may look weak. But there is surrounding every saint and child of God an innumerable host of angels. Whatever happens to us only arrives at our doorstep by God’s permission and only stays there by God’s permission. We are never in any situation as truly helpless.

God is asking us to put up our swords and stop whacking at the soldiers or enemies invading our quiet garden. Maybe you have already drawn your sword and swung at a head or two. Maybe you even have drawn blood and at your feet there is a bloody ear. Stop! Listen to the reassuring words of our Great master…all this is to fulfill the Word, the great plan of God! This painful moment is but part of the whole plan. Forgive. Rest. Be willing to be led away into a black and uncertain night. God will not forsake you.

Lord, help me to trust you when the darkness and unknown are all about me. I do believe but help me not to take matters into my own hands but to wait for your timing and plan to unfold.

Calendar of Events for Jesus’ life

Filed under: Blog,Passion Week — Pastor David Apr 16, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

 

 Calendar of Events for Jesus’ life 

Sunday Jesus Enters Jerusalem  honor
Monday Jesus returns and cleanses the Temple
Jesus curses the fig tree
Tuesday Jesus debates with Religious leaders
Jesus prophesies about the destruction of Jerusalem and His 2nd Coming
Wednesday Jesus is betrayed by Judas
Jesus stays with friends at Bethany
Thursday Jesus returns to Jerusalem and celebrates the Passover with His disciples
Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane
Jesus is arrested and led away to be tried by the Leaders
All the Disciples run for their lives
Friday Trials 1-3 from Midnight to 6:30am (Religious)
Peter denies Christ
Trials 4-6 from 6:30-9am (Legal)
Christ is crucified at 9am-3pm
Christ is buried by 5pm
Saturday The leaders return to the tomb and seal it with Rome’s power and guard
Sunday Christ is raised from the dead
Christ meets Mary first
Christ encounters the disciples
Christ walks on the road of Emmaus
Next Page >>>