In 2026, we will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of our country. Let’s hope we make it. In 2017, Protestants celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Around 2030, we will celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the ministry, death and resurrection of the Greatest Life that walked this “terrestrial ball”. The anniversary of His physical life and death is worth noting, and celebrating, because of Who He was and Who He is.
I am amazed when I think that Jesus Christ, Who Christians believe to be the Incarnate Creator God, physically walked this planet exactly two thousand years ago. The Son of God was walking around Incognito in Nazareth two thousand years ago today. Since the year of His birth is said to be by scholars about 6-4 BCE, then He’d be, in the flesh, twenty something.
There is no written record of what He was doing as a young adult. Before He began His public ministry, He most likely worked as a carpenter like His step-father, Joseph. An interesting, creative, simple, sweat-of-the-brow occupation, one that my family knows very well. Sweat-of-the-brow.. how ironic, that’s not something He should have been doing. That curse was reserved for Adam and his descendants. Yet, within ten years, He would bear more of Adam’s curse, He would bear his sins as well as the sins of all of his descendants. Today we remember that sacrifice, that gift, His Passion.
Today we remember the darkest day of human history, the day when Jesus Christ was murdered for political expedience, so it seemed. He was inconvenient, He was uncontrollable and He was very popular, definitely on Palm Sunday. Unfortunately, the voices, the sentiments, on Palm Sunday – “Blessed in He Who comes in the name of the Lord” – were replaced by the voices and sentiments on Good Friday – “Crucify Him!” Perhaps even by the same voices, how fickle is man!
Two thousand long years have passed since This Man walked the dirt roads of Galilee and Judea. Two thousand long years, His followers have tried to live out His last command, often imperfectly. Two thousand long years have passed while the Church awaits His return.
We are blessed by the sacrifice He made that Good Friday almost two thousand years ago. Our sins have been paid for, we have been redeemed, we have been forgiven of the very object that kept us separated from God, the Father.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
We are blessed by the new life He gave us through this sacrifice.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. – 1 Peter 1:3-4
And we are finally blessed with a living hope, the confident hope of His return. A verse that is engraved in gold on the mausoleum that my grandfather built and where he and my grandmother rest – the Holy Cross Mausoleum in Colma, California – shouts, if you will, over all the gravestones at Holy Cross, some which include my parents and many other friends and relatives:
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ…- Titus 2:13
Our Savior is a living Savior, a living Friend and as Thomas solemnly declared after putting his fingers upon the wounds on His hands and His side, “My Lord and My God.” Today as we remember His great gift to us, and on Sunday we will remember His resurrection, we will remember our Lord and our God is not dead. He is a living Savior poised to return to the earth He trod two thousand years ago. He will tread the earth again.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. – Zechariah 14:4
One day we shall behold Him, one day we shall see Him face to face. If you don’t know this Jesus, crack open a Bible and read the book of Luke or John and get to know this incredible Person, this Person who died for you nearly two thousand years ago and this Person Who will be your greatest Friend, your Lord and your God.
“Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!”