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04.14.19 Jesus’ Preview of our Lives Philippians 2.1-11 Sermon Summary

by on April 15, 2019

The central claim of Christianity is that God is revealed in Jesus Christ. What we overlook is that we also are revealed in Jesus Christ.

We began our Lenten Journey on Ash Wednesday, when we contemplated how all things return to dust, including sin, and how this is good news.

Then we read about the Temptation of Jesus, and considered how God claims us as his children without regard to how useful we are, what others say about us, or even how religious we are.

Then we talked about repentance and change, how it helps to have the proper attitude, to use new language in our prayers, and the inspiration we can draw from the examples of the saints.

But then we talked about repenting of repentance, how we must turn away from sin and fear and turn instead to holiness and love.

Last week we read about Mary of Bethany and Paul the Apostle, and observed how a habit of giving opens us up to receive from God and frees us to give extravagantly.

Now our Lenten journey brings us to Holy Week. It begins with Jesus’ Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem and ends with Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Jesus’ last week is a dramatic reminder of our destiny, a rehearsal of our own lives. As he did, we make a grand entrance at our birth, with many people anticipating our arrival and welcoming us with joy.

Then we live lives of drama, just as Jesus did throughout the week. We enjoy friendship as at the house of Mary and Martha. We experience conflict, as Jesus did with the authorities. We suffer betrayal, like Jesus did by Judas. And we encounter systemic unfairness and injustice, like Jesus did before his crucifixion.

Finally, we all will experience death. Death empties us of our lives. For some, it is a welcome relief. For others, as death approaches, we cling all the harder to life. But no matter where we are on the continuum, death empties us completely.

As we begin this Holy Week, this preview of our lives through the last week of Jesus’ life, let us remember: In the meantime, between today and the day we die, we can live this life in Christ. And we can live this life with Christ in us. And so we can live with the assurance that God will resurrect us, just as he did Christ at the end of his life.

In other words, Holy Week reminds us that Jesus’ fate is our fate. Eventually we all lose our lives. Eventually we all take up the cross. Eventually we all return to dust. Eventually we all rest in God. Eventually we all rise with Christ.

Since this is the case, Paul urges us to have the same mind as Christ, even in this life. We are to humble ourselves, to serve one another and the world, to make our lives really count for something. This Holy Week, and throughout our lives, let us live in Christ, let us serve in Christ, let us die in Christ, and let us rise with Christ.

When Christ said, “remember me” at his Table, this is what he meant. Remember my body, remember my blood. Live, serve, die, and rise with me.

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