He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed! After Christ’s crucifixion and the agony of Saturday this refrain never gets old.
Lent culminated yesterday—technically Saturday night at midnight for some churches, or early morning as the sunrises for others, or at any hour your tradition follows. Holy Week is rich not only for our faith, but for the ways Jesus taught his disciples about a life in ministry.
Earlier when they asked him to teach them how to pray, he did not hesitate. He taught them. I believe if they had asked him to teach them how to live a life centered on service and ministry, He would have pointed to Holy Week. The passages detailing the week in the Bible could be mandatory pre-field training and on-going training for each of us.
- Jesus will be recognized for who he is.
- Later, some who recognized him as Messiah will reject him.
- Jesus is a God affronted by injustice as he fashions a whip and goes after the moneylenders.
- Ministry requires patience, but a time may come that you need to curse the fig tree, so to speak, and move on. Fig trees take about five years to bear fruit. While Jesus was not using the fig tree as a time measurement, he does say fruit is one way to measure a project, team, or season.
- Learning from Jesus is important. Much of Tuesday is dedicated to Jesus’ final public teaching. What does he emphasize in his last lessons? In part, God’s heart for his children and how love will be a hallmark of His children.
- Silence. Nothing is recorded for Wednesday. In a week where we know more than any other week in Jesus’ life and ministry, Wednesday stands like a gapping hole. Ministry also can abruptly have silences from leaders, supporters, and teammates, even God Himself.
- There will be times to go broad. Take Tuesday. Jesus poured into the many as he taught.
- There will be times to go deep. Thursday evening finds Jesus with the twelve. Even though he knew his time with them was coming to an end, He invested in them until the very end.
- Betrayal is a part of ministry. Recounting Judas and Peter, neither or overly villanized, instead their actions are reported. We also see that not all betrayal is the same. Judas did not reconcile with Jesus this side of death, Peter did.
- Accusation is also a part of ministry. Jesus was falsely accused and paid dearly for it. If Jesus Himself was falsely accused, should we be surprised when we are?
- Jesus will serve you. Ministry is not only about us ministering to others. We too will have our feet washed by Jesus.
- Jesus will feed you. Take eat. Then He took the cup. Do this in remembrance of me. Ministry is a life of pouring out and feeding others. But do not confuse feeding others with feeding yourselves. Jesus will feed you; you do not have to feed yourself. He will be creating in feeding you, but it is not on to be fed.
- Death is a part of ministry. This side of heaven, death is woven into ministry. People die, relationships die, hope may die, even ministries may die.
- But death is not the final word, resurrection is. Somewhere, somehow, life will sprout.
Jesus never held back any punches on the realities of ministry, did He? He understood the blessings and cost. And because He loves us, He never tires of investing in us as ministers of the Good News.
Which of these 14 lessons stood out to you today? What is Jesus saying to you about that lesson?
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