April 7 Message From Your Pastors

Time to finish this thought…

Easter Greetings Orchard!

I pray that this message finds you still clinging to the hope of Christ in light of his resurrection…
With no intention to dissolve this joy, I want to follow up on a message I delivered on Palm Sunday. I mentioned that Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and that, while doing so, he had tears running down his face.
This comes from Luke 19:41 where it says, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, if you , even you, had known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.” He continues to forecast what scholars believe is the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem “They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another” (Luke 19:44).

This was not an empty prediction, the temple in Jerusalem was indeed destroyed in A.D. 70. Titus, adopted son of Vespasian (the rising Roman emperor at the time), burnt the Temple, destroyed the city of Jerusalem and crucified thousands of Jews. Indeed, it was the end of the world as they (the Jews in Jerusalem ) knew it.

Jesus wept for this event 40 years before it occurred. He weeps for all whose worlds as they know them are coming to an end. He calls us to join in the grief. About three weeks ago, Mike Foster shared some special music with us that had a lyric, “Keep me in the holy land of a wounded heart.” Truly, truly, we are very near the heart of Jesus when we have wounded hearts.

Still, as we all know, there is more to the story. As N.T. Wright explains in his commentary, “Mark for Everyone,” the fall of the Temple made way for a new missional focus that includes not only the chosen Jewish people, but the rest of the world’s people as well. For God “has made a way of salvation for all – has done through Jesus what the Temple should have stood for but had instead opposed” (Wright).

The good news has a wide invitation. And even if you are in a season of trial and your world as you knew it is under attack, because of the resurrection, there is always hope in the forecast. Because of the resurrection we have a savior and a guide back to hope. Boy, am I glad about that!

May everlasting hope be yours in abundance!

Pastor Karen

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