Three Wooden Crosses
Three wooden crosses. Three recognizable symbols. Three important reminders of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior. As Easter quickly approaches, we look to these three crosses to help us remember how much Jesus loves us. He gave His life on that cross so that we may have eternal life with Him. It is a somber thought, to think of how He suffered and died for us, but because of His suffering and death, we have hope and a reason for rejoicing.
Christian tradition calls the week leading up to Easter “Passion Week”. This is the week that Jesus spent in Jerusalem preceding His death. The week begins with the Triumphal Entry. Jesus had been travelling, teaching and performing miracles. A crowd had gathered as He went and began to follow Him and His disciples towards Jerusalem.
Matthew gives us his account of the Triumphal Entry in chapter 21:
“The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their robes on them, and He sat on them. A very large crowd spread their robes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. Then the crowds who went ahead of Him and those who followed kept shouting: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’”
Matthew 21:6-9, HCSB
The crowd not only gathered together to see and hear Jesus, but also to celebrate His arrival. They were so overwhelmed with joy that they couldn’t contain it. They most likely did not know why Jesus had come to Jerusalem, even though Jesus had already alluded to His death. They only knew that He had come and the city of Jerusalem needed to know their Savior had arrived. They prepared the way for Jesus into Jerusalem, just as we need to prepare our hearts for Easter.
He entered Jerusalem to cheers and praise, but by the end of the week, Jesus was crucified on the cross, along with two criminals. The same crowd that had shouted, “Hosanna!” was now yelling, “Crucify him!” Three wooden crosses; the middle cross held the Savior and the opportunity for eternal life but each of the outer crosses symbolized the decision to either believe on Jesus name or to ridicule him. Of the two thieves crucified with Jesus, one ridiculed and mocked him just as many of the spectators did. The other thief, however, recognized his guilt and the innocence of Christ. Jesus told the second thief, that “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” It appeared that He had been defeated, but praise God that the crucifixion was victory. We know that even though He died on the cross and was buried in the tomb, He resurrected on the third day. It is because of His sacrifice on the cross that we have eternal life! We have victory over death! And we can proclaim “Hosanna!”
Passion Week begins with Palm Sunday on March 25th. The following Friday, the Starkville community comes together to participate in the Stations of the Cross. This is a walking tour where local churches will present different Scripture passages detailing the events of the Passion Week of Christ, accompanied by quiet moments for prayer and reflection. It will start at First United Methodist Starkville at 9:00 am on Friday, March 30. This event, which takes place on the traditional day that Jesus was crucified, is a wonderful way to reflect on Jesus’ last moments on Earth as He suffered and then was crucified.
We invite you to join us for the Stations of the Cross. Come gather with other believers in our community as we reflect on and remember the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Contact the church office for more information.