Just as we set aside time to spiritually prepare for Christmas Day, it makes sense to set aside time to prepare for the two very important days of the Christian year – Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We call this time the season of “Lent”. Lent is often seen as an intensely penitential time as we examine our sinful natures and return to the God we have, through our own rebelliousness, hurt time and again. Lent is also an opportunity to contemplate what our Lord really did for us on the Cross – and it wasn’t pretty. The Lenten season developed as part of the historical Christian calendar and is typically celebrated by Catholics and some mainline Protestant churches. Evangelical Churches generally do not follow the days of Lent, or give Lent a lot of focus – but the purpose behind remembering Lent is significant and worth taking some note of.
In the Lenten Season for 2018 we are going to use the Gospel of Luke to help us in the lead up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We will especially consider how King Jesus is central to Lent and, more importantly, central to enabling our broken relationship with God to be restored.
Part 1 - Our King Jesus Weeping At The Parade
Jesus, in fulfilment of Zechariah 9:9-10. rides into Jerusalem and a massive parade starts. It would seem that Jesus should be happy. The people are joyful and God is being praised. Yet in the middle of His parade Jesus weeps.
Things are not as they seem and this message focuses on what is really taking place.
Part 2 - Our King Jesus Having Authority
As furniture flies, and coins crash, and sheep scatter, and doves disappear, and people panic we see Jesus our King laying down a challenge of authority against the spiritual leaders so that He can pave the way for us to come into the Kingdom.
Part 3 - Our King Jesus’ Last Supper
Jesus deliberately organises the last supper so there won’t be interruptions. During the supper Jesus uses the bread and wine to point to a future relationship; He uses an argument to teach humble servant hood; and He gives encouragement so our faith may not fail.
Part 4 - Our King Jesus Easily Abandoned
As Jesus makes his way to from the Last Supper to the Cross he is abandoned. Abandoned by the disciples who fall asleep. Abandoned by Judas who betrays him. Abandoned by Peter who denies him. Despite this abandonment Jesus does not abandon us.
Part 5 - Our King Jesus Uniting Enemies
In this section of Luke we find individuals and groups of people – the Roman Soldiers, the Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod – all uniting together against Jesus. In the face of such unity we need to ask the question – “Are we on the wrong side?”
Part 6 - Our King Jesus Falsely Condemned
Jesus received a properly conducted trial by Pilate, yet Jesus still ended up being crucified. This message identifies the cause.
Part 7 - Our King Declared Righteous
The Centurion at the crucifixion was one of the closest witnesses to the death of Jesus – and he becomes the first convert confessing Jesus as the righteous Son of God.
Part 8 - Our King Jesus Interprets Scripture
The confusion and despair of the disciples on the day of the resurrection turns into joy because Jesus the King explains the Scriptures to the companions on the road to Emmaus.
Part 9 - Our King Jesus Proves He is Alive
In the days following his resurrection Jesus keeps appearing, eventually over 500 people are witnesses that he is alive. However the most important witness to the resurrection is that all Scripture points to the suffering, but risen, Saviour.
Part 10 - Our King Jesus Ascends into Heaven
As Jesus ascends to heaven he blesses the disciples. This blessing is the sign of the many benefits which the ascension of Jesus gives to us.