The Day Jesus Died
By Pastor Tom Anderson
On Thursday night about 9 PM, Jesus prayed in a garden. By Friday afternoon at 3 PM, he was dead. What happened? How did it come to pass that the most popular celebrity of the times became so despised and abandoned? What is so captivating about this story? How did the Roman cross–an instrument of the death penalty akin to an electric chair–become the symbol of love and of the Christian faith?
Why did Jesus die? How did his death become the benchmark for Christian discipleship–” pick up your cross and follow me”? How did death become a victory? How does one become king through humiliation? How are the evil powers of this world defeated by Jesus’ death? How did this become the saving message of the Gospel? What does the death of a man 2000 years ago have to do with me? Why should I care?
Yet the cross marks every church building. The cross marks every ambulance. The cross marks our graves. One senses there is enduring power here. What is that power? Do you know this power? Has it been unleashed in you?
Walk with us this Lent as we study the story of the cross from Matthew’s Gospel. Sunday by Sunday we’ll explore the events of the day Jesus died. You will learn exactly what happened blow by blow. You will know exactly what it means. You will be invited to enter into the transforming power of the cross for yourself.
Matthew is the longest of the four gospels, stretching to 28 chapters. Its special emphasis is on the teaching of Jesus. Here we find the Sermon on the Mount and the remarkable collection of parables of chapter 13. The teaching sections launch us into what Matthew regards as the most important part of the story: The teacher is crucified and rises from the dead. It's the greatest story ever told!
A Bible Study on the Gospel of Matthew will begin Wednesday, February 14 at 10 AM using the book The Gospel of Matthew by Ben Witherington III, professor of New Testament at Asbury Seminary. You can sign up online or by the welcome table. If you are unable to attend, you may wish to read the book as a personal Lenten discipline. Books can be purchased from the church for $15 if you make your order before February 4. Otherwise, they can be ordered directly from seedbed.com.
Feb 18 Jesus Falls on his face
Feb 25 Abandoned
Mar 3 Spit on
Mar 10 Bitter weeping
Mar 24 Son of God
Mar 31 Risen!