Our senior pastor Den wanted to touch base with you all, so below are some encouraging thoughts from “Den’s Pen” but before that just a couple of things I want to make you aware of.
– Resurrection Sunday (Communion) @ 9 with Hornby. @ 10 with West Melton. @ 11 with Rolleston. @ 6pm with the Evening Service.
NOTE: At ALL our Sunday services our preaches will be preaching through Luke 24 and leading you through communion. So if you have a moment beforehand read through Luke 24 and bring with you to the service of your choice some bread, drink and an open heart.
All our services are available via our webpage www.hopechurch.net.nz/live or via our Facebook or YouTube channels.
May God bless you in this Holy season, and I look forward to connecting with you on line!!
- As we approach Easter the cross comes into clearer focus. A big issue in all the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) is the matter of Jesus’ identity. The significance of us embracing Jesus’ identity is expressed in Jesus’ question to the disciples, “Who do people say I am? In the Matthew account, Jesus goes on to say, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,” in order to say, this is not a human deduction, but my identity is a direct revelation from God the Father. Many of us can concur with that in our own experience with God. After this point in Mark (Mk 8:27-30) the book changes with Jesus explicitly pointing to his own death. As we read the question lurks in our minds, “who are you Jesus?” It was in Easter preparation in my later years at Waitara I stumbled on a shocking discovery. It still jolts me. In the pre-dawn hours, Jesus stood silent before his accusers at the high priest’s house. Frustration among those who wanted to bring him down was at boiling point; nothing would stick. We’ve got to get him. Surely there must be something we can pin on him. “We’ll, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply (Lk 14:60-61). Finally, the chief priest brought out the big guns. “Then the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?” “Blessed One” is a cypher for YHWH. At around 200 years before Jews had decided the name YHWH was too sacred to utter. In my research I found there were many messiah’s. That was not a charge that would warrant the response of his accusers. Jesus’ response to the high priest was “I Am.” ego eimi in Greek. Who are you Jesus? YHWH. Not only had Jesus uttered the forbidden name, he had also disclosed his identity. Jesus had just crossed the only line that warranted the charge, Blasphemy. Ripping off clothes, and the charge of guilty followed. It wasn’t trumped up. The charge would stick. The only way Jesus could be innocent was if he was telling the truth. But they couldn’t accept his identity. Can we? I have thought a lot about this since. Is YHWH of the OT, Jesus? Rather than Jesus being the hidden aspect of God revealed to us in the NT, is it the Father? John in his prologue opens with “No one has ever seen God.” Not even Moses in Exodus. “But the unique One, who is himself God, is near the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (Jn 1:18). It’s something to think about. Jesus, who are you?