It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.
Throughout Lent we talked about what Jesus came to fulfill. Today we enter the week of ultimate fulfillment that took away our bruises and reignited us.
We start the week of fulfillment at the moment Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph, to the acclamation of Israel. Then, at the very end of our Liturgy of the Palms we are starkly presented with the Scourging of the Crucifix.
On this first day of the week, we move from triumph to the torture leading to the Cross. Yet even in the Scourging of the Crucifix we hear the promise: “It is written, they strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But, after I am resurrected, I will go before you to Galilee.” He will indeed rise and be with us. He is not abandoning us. He is saving us, not just for a week, but forever.
Let us look at Jesus’ weeklong journey and its parallels to our journey as citizens of the Kingdom.
We, the people of Christ Jesus, now reside in the Kingdom Jesus came to establish, that He has conferred on us – no, not just on the Apostles, not just on those who were there back then – but on all of us who live now in eternity with Him along with all who came before and will come after us.
Because of this week we have come out of a world mired in tortuous death, a world blind and deaf, and have entered the Kingdom life. We dwell in the Kingdom of everlasting life, a place of seeing and hearing where Jesus’ gospel path defines our steps.
Because of this week we have been pulled free from the imprisonment of fear and want. We are no longer jailed by the type of fear the Jewish leadership fell into – The Romans will come and destroy... No one can take away what we have! No one can remove Christ’s promises from us. Satan still tries to accuse us, but we are able to say confidently – away from me, I am washed in the blood of Jesus and have been set free. I have the promises of Jesus, so I have no want, the chains of my captivity have been broken. I have absolute fearless assurance.
Because of this week we have an eternal ‘year of favor, a year acceptable to the Lord.’ The “year acceptable to the Lord” that Jesus spoke about that day in Nazareth, which He brought about this week, was a reference to a Jewish Jubilee Year. The Jubilee Year was one in which all debts were remitted, all lands restored to their original owners, and the liberation of all slaves. In the Jubilee Year the people were invited to see the world through God’s eyes. We live in that eternal year now, where the debt of sin has been paid and where we hold God’s vision of us – as beautiful forever by Jesus’ redemption. It is all about this week!