The Weekly Epistle 3/28/24

Hi Living Hope Family, 
A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. After the service, his father returned from church holding a palm branch. 

The little boy was curious and asked, “Why do you have that palm branch, dad?” 

“You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm branches to honor him, so we got Palm branches today.” 

The little boy replied, “Seriously! The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!” 

Many of you were not able to attend in person this past Sunday. But Jesus shows up even when you can’t. While I didn’t give a “typical” Palm Sunday message, the section in Romans 5:6-11 set us up beautifully for Passion Week. 

My thoughts since Sunday as I ponder the significance of this week went to “One thing.” Literally, the one thing of Jesus as he set his mind on the cross. The one thing on the mind of Christ was His resolve to glorify His Father in Heaven by carrying out the one thing He came to do. What was Jesus’ one thing? 

He didn’t come to be a good teacher- though he was the best; he didn’t come to merely show how to live a good, moral life- though he was sinless; he didn’t come as this circus performer to impress crowds with his healing, his power over nature, and his feeding thousands with one boy’s lunch- though he did all that and more. He came to satisfy the holy demands of God, turning aside his wrath meant for us and took it on Himself, paying the penalty for our sin…in full! One thing! 

Mark Buchanan refers to this one thing as a “holy must.” A holy must. We see this holy must throughout Jesus’ time walking this earth. Jesus must go through Samaria. Jesus must go to Jerusalem. Jesus must suffer. He lived a holy must. Even as the crowd sought to make Him their earthly king as he rode humbly on a donkey into the streets of Jerusalem, his eyes never left his holy must, his one thing- to be the sin-bearer of the world. “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 tells us). 

He fixed his eyes on one thing. His holy must! What must I do? What is my one thing? Am I like Mary who chose the one thing that was most important by choosing to sit at Jesus’ feet? Or am I like Martha who is distracted by many things? 

Will you choose the one thing this week by sitting at Jesus’ feet, and spending time in His presence. I can guarantee you, when you take the time to do that, Jesus will show up! 

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday! I can’t wait to say, “Jesus is risen.” Then hearing your enthusiastic reply, “He is risen indeed!” 

Blessings, Pastor Brian