Pastor Linda Settles
If you’ve ever seen a boxing match, you’ve probably seen a boxer get hit and go down, hit the floor. That’s when the referee starts counting. The one who’s still standing starts prancing around in victory. But if you listen to those who are in that boxer’s corner, you’ll most likely hear them yell, “Get up!”
The same is true for football players who get hit hard and they lay there on the turf for a minute. You can feel a collective, “Get up!” from the fans. And who doesn’t love a good underdog story, right? The villain seems to be winning, and everybody’s rooting for the underdog to “Get up!”
As we travel through Holy Week, we began with Palm Sunday. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on an unbroken donkey as the people cheered Him on. The final match was set in motion. Jesus stepped into the Divine arena for the final showdown.
Later in the week, on Thursday, Jesus had one last supper with His disciples. He spoke of giving His body and drinking of His blood, and He even ate with the one who would betray him, Judas. Jesus’ table is big enough for everyone. That night, Jesus did His final workout in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying for God’s will to be done.
He was arrested, denied by Peter, brought before Pontius Pilate, and the crowd shouted, “Crucify Him!” And Jesus entered the ring. Walking down the road to Calvary. Carrying His own cross. Then Simon the Cyrene carried it the rest of the way. Everyone knew that this was it. Jesus didn’t even have the strength to carry His own cross. Could this be the Messiah?
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
It was looking real bad for Jesus. The One who had saved so many people from illness and even death. The One who told a little girl who had died to “Get up!” The One who raised Lazarus from the dead is now facing His own death. Was it all a dream? Was Jesus just a really good teacher and an awesome worker of miracles?
In our own lives we experience times of being down for the count. Folks may have given up on you, and sometimes we even give up on ourselves. But I hear the sound of a rumble. The sound of the stone being rolled away. Stones of doubt, self-pity, and unworthiness. Stones that have kept us shut in, away from the world, away from the very ones who need to hear the good news of the Gospel. The sound of Resurrection!
Join us this Sunday as we celebrate Easter! The resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and our own resurrection from the things that hold us captive. You can worship in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Easter Worship we had hoped to have outside, but the weather will not allow it, so we will worship Easter in the beauty of the indoor sanctuary.
Breakthrough Prayer Gathering We’ll gather for a time of worship, visioning, and of course prayer on Saturday, April 30, 10-12:30p. Register here! Lunch will be provided. Be on the lookout for a detailed email soon. Prayer changes things, church. And I’m a firm believer that the church that prays together, stays together! So, let’s do this – together!
My prayer for each of you is that you experience the joy of resurrection this Easter!