Our Current Message Series

    Foreshadows of Jesus

For some people, the story of Christ’s death and resurrection is familiar.  However, for Jesus’ original followers, passion week was a series of escalating crisis that ended in an unimaginable tragedy – Jesus hanging on a Roman cross.  Is God still in control? Has anything like this ever happened before?  As it turns out, it was all foretold by a prophetic past.  

March 10: Jesus Predicts His Death
Matthew 16-20; Genesis 22:1-10

Three times he told them. Each time it was incomprehensible. Why would anyone knowingly walk toward their own death?  Jesus’ acclaim was growing.  Great accomplishments that would benefit many were right around the corner.  It made no sense.  However, long ago another young man walked willingly to a certain death.

March 17: Triumphal Entry
Luke 19:28-44; 2 Samuel 6

For much of his public ministry, Jesus had tried to avoid it.  But now it couldn’t be stopped.  A flood of acclaim from a crowd of people shouting “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” as Jesus entered Jerusalem.  Oddly though, instead of coming on a strutting horse, Jesus rode on a humble donkey.  What could be the meaning of this?  Has anything like this ever happened?

March 24: Betrayal, Denial & Abandonment
John 16; Genesis 37 & 45

Even though our closest relationship can be challenging, we still count on family and close friends. What hope remains if those closest to us betray us?  For Jesus, this moment came suddenly and violently while praying in Gethsemane. How could these broken relationships ever be mended?   Fortunately, this had happened before.

March 31: Righteous Man Condemned
Luke 23:1-6; 2 Samuel 11

Ocasionally we hear this tragic story – a man is found guilty, condemned to death, executed, then later proved to be innocent.  It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice.  Yet, Jesus was pronounced innocent but condemned to death anyway – at the insistence of a large crowd of his own people.  Is there any precedent for such massive injustice and why did God allow it?

April 7: Crucified Messiah
Luke 22:1-3; Exodus 12:1-20

They had left everything to follow him.  They knew he was the long-awaited Messiah.  He would set them free from oppression, restore Israel, and usher in a spiritual renewal.  What better time than the Feast of Passover to initiate the revolution.  The crowd hailed him king – the time is now!  Then in a shocking turn of events, right after celebrating the Passover meal, Jesus is betrayed, arrested, tried, beaten and hung on a cross to die in shame.  What hope could there possibly be for followers of Jesus?  

April 14: A River from the Mountain
John 20:16-42; Ezekiel 47:1-12

It was the final act in an agonizing and gory ritual.  Thrusting his spear into Jesus’ side, blood and water came out, confirming to the Roman soldier that Jesus was dead.  On this prominent rock outcropping just outside Jerusalem, all could see the lethal power of Roman rule.  How could anything good come of this?  An ancient prophet’s vision may help us.

April 21: Living Among the Dead
Luke 24:1-12; 1 Kings 17

Though they had held out great hope, all they expected now was death.  The rabbi thought to be Messiah now lay dead in a grave. Hastily entombed, his body still needed embalming.  Three women approach in the dawning light.  They plan one last act of devotion for the rabbi they loved.  However, when they arrive they’re stunned to find an open and empty tomb.  Then a bright angel, speaking to them, asking “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”.   Could it be? Has anything like this ever happened before?