April 19
I’m a participant in Holy Week
Pastor Mark Jeske

It’s a common thing for people to identify with the protagonist in a movie or story. The adventure and emotions pull us in, and we can’t help rooting for the hero. Internet and video game technology today can make the stories even more intense because they are interactive, i.e., you can participate virtually in the Halo or Assassin’s Creed narrative and feel like you’re there.

The gospels’ account of Holy Week, especially the three-day stretch of Good Friday/Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday, is not only a fascinating and compelling story to read. Your baptism actually plunges you personally right into the story. What happened to Christ is shared by you. Seriously! “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3,4).

It’s not the splash of water that transports you there. The water just personalizes and identifies the participant by actually touching his or her skin. The real power is the Word of God that works in and through the water. That Word puts you on the cross so that your sin is condemned and punished there. That Word puts you in the tomb with Christ, and it raises you up with him, forgiven, refreshed, and empowered to lead a new life.

You aren’t just a spectator. You’re there.


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