- Psalm 22:1-18
- Matthew 26:31-27:66
The Sermon title is The World Says NO!
Early Thoughts: Why did Jesus die? (for one look at this question see this article) Why do we tell this story? What is the value in remembering the torture and death of another human?
These are the sort of questions that come to many minds this week each year. And yet it is my contention that we HAVE to tell this part of the story if Easter is going to mean anything. Resurrection faith only makes sense if we acknowledge the power of death in the first place.
Jesus of Nazareth offered a different vision of how the world could be. Jesus offered a choice between loyalty to the old ways or embracing God's ways. Jesus challenged the powerful in their bad choices and their failure to care for all of God's people. And in response the powers of his world said a loud NO to Jesus. And so they had him killed.
But that is not the only reason we tell the story. It is not just a set-up for Sunday. We tell the story because, in many ways, it is still happening. The world is still being offered a choice of "how then shall we live?". And all too often the world continues to say NO. Crucifixions still happen (metaphorically speaking). And we forget that at our peril.
Come Friday morning to hear again the story. But come also to allow ourselves to be challenged about what COULD be. Come and be challenged about whether we are part of the world saying NO or if we are willing to chance the cross. Dark and depressing the story becomes. Dark the path that leads, eventually, to light. But the dark is part of our story. It is part of who we are. And so we need to acknoweldge it.