Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday we stand in the presence of Jesus, in the presence of Jesus Christ, who went to the cross and then rose from the dead.  When contemplated upon, these events are so momentous that it is hard to put them into words at all.

As I think about Jesus Christ, there are some things I can say and claim as my own faith.

First, never did anyone speak like this one (John 7:46).  The words of Jesus are unparalleled by any national or political leader, unparalleled by any religious leader, or by any philosopher.  Think of the Beatitudes that we have been studying for the past six weeks.  Think of the Sermon on the Mount; of the Lord’s Prayer; of the parables; or of the so called “Golden Rule”.  Never did anyone speak like Jesus.

Secondly, no one has ever done the things that Jesus did.  No one has ever given sight to a person born blind.  No one has ever raised someone from the dead.  No one has ever done the things that Jesus did.

So no one has ever spoken like Jesus.  No one has ever done what he did.  Thirdly, the scriptures prophesied his coming.  These are some of the things convince me that Jesus is indeed the son of God, the living appearance of God on earth.

Fourthly, only Jesus can wash away my moral guilt.  When we say “moral guilt” we mean things like lying, stealing, murder, and every kind of bad behavior.  There is no ordinary person that can cleanse me from moral guilt – not my parents, not a national hero, not a doctor or nurse, not even a prison term – only Jesus can cleanse me from moral guilt.

Fifth, Jesus knows me as an individual, and actively and effectively cares about me.  My parents, my spouse, or my loved ones – or even my working colleagues – all of them may well influence me in one way or another.  But as I look back over my life, no one directs my life in the way that God does; no one directs my life as the living God in the resurrected Jesus.

Despite all that, Jesus was abandoned by almost everyone.  There were very few people with Jesus at the cross.  There was Mary his mother; Mary Magdalene; Mary of Clopas; and the beloved disciple, John.  Beyond those four, we can perhaps add the repentant criminal on the cross with Jesus; or the centurion who said, “Truly, this man is the Son of God.”  So, there were at most six people with him.

Never mind everyone else — the question, however, is whether I am with Jesus in this hour, or not.  The question is whether you and I are with Jesus in this hour, or not.  Let us journey with Jesus on the road to the cross, and with him, rise in the resurrection.

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