Lent, holy week & Easter FAQ's
What is lent?
The days and weeks of Lent call us to keep the focus of our lives of faith on Jesus, our Lord, and to learn more of Him and His loving plan of salvation for us. One of the classic hymn stanzas of the Lutheran church portrays that proper focus in this petition to the Lord:
On my heart imprint Your image,
Blessed Jesus, King of grace,
That life’s riches, cares, and pleasures
Never may Your work erase;
Let the clear inscription be:
Jesus, crucified for me,
Is my life, my hope’s foundation,
And my glory and salvation!
—LSB 422, LW 100, TLH 179
In the early centuries of the Church, the season before Easter was used to teach the faith to people who desired to convert to Christianity and asked to be baptized. The process of catechesis included a time when the candidates for Baptism were questioned about their understanding of what they had been taught regarding the basics of the faith.
In Latin, this sequence of inquiries was called scrutinia, from which our English word “scrutiny” is derived. At certain times during Lent, the greatest treasures of the faith were shared with the candidates for Baptism, including the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. The Gospel account of the suffering and death of Jesus to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind was told simply and directly as being of the greatest importance, as it still is.
what does palm sunday mean?
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, the victorious and triumphal entrance of Christ into Jerusalem. Zechariah 9:9 makes this prophesy, “Behold, your King is coming to you.” The Church sees this prophecy fulfilled as Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey.
what is maundy thursday?
From the time an anguished Abraham had prophesied: “God will provide Himself the Lamb for the offering, my son.” From the time Moses had taught about how the Lamb’s blood would cause death itself to “pass over” and spare those who huddled beneath it. From the time Isaiah foretold a feast on the holy mountain to celebrate death’s doom, a feast of well refined wine and choicest meats. So the day came when John pointed to Jesus and said, “That’s Him, the Lamb of God.”
And now the Lamb is preparing for its slaughter, to be the Passover. Did his eyes leave the Lamb as they carried it in? So His love would lead him to be roasted, spitted upon the tree and His blood poured out to cover the world’s sins. The Lamb had been at the heart of God’s love for the lost race of humanity from the very beginning, and from the beginning, He had longed for this day. He came into the flesh to bring it about. He had foretold something of it when He spoke words that left the crowd puzzled and thinking he was crazy:
“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. THIS is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. (John 6: 48-50).
“Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (John 6:53-55).
And now, at long last, right before His sufferings would commence, He teaches them the gift foreshadowed in the types of the Old Covenant, the gift He foretold them at that earlier Passover on another year: This is my body which is given for you. Do this as my anamnesis, my memorial. This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Why is it called "good friday"
On that day of deepest darkness, our God was loving the world, loving you and me and all who fail Him again and again. He was loving us by giving His only Son into that horrid death so that our hate-filled, violent, rebellious race might be pardoned and given a life without end in His kingdom.
Joseph in Genesis, who was hated by his brothers, stripped, betrayed and sold, disowned and forgotten. And why? Precisely so that God could, through Joseph, bring great blessing to those wretched brothers, keeping them alive in famine, providing for their families. “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive” (Gen. 50:20). So it is with Jesus. Hence the miracle of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter! It’s true that we meant it for evil. But God Himself was at work through it all, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting our sins against us as He made Him who had no sin to be sin for us. And come resurrection morn, He proclaims to all the world that its sins are forgiven, forgotten, gone! The resurrection cries out: “His sacrifice has been accepted — for you and for all. So rejoice!”
Yes, beloved, through the wood of the cross, joy truly has come into all the world: the joy of sins’ forgiveness, death’s defeat, love’s unconquerable triumph. The cross is our God saying: “You can’t make Me hate you! I love you and forgive you in the blood of My precious Son!”
Why do we "celebrate" easter sunday
On Easter Sunday, our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, promising eternal life to all who believe! We celebrate this wonderful good news with our Easter Sunday service.