Holy Week is an amazing time of celebration and commemoration in the local church and universal Church. At Calvary Nexus in Camarillo we traditionally enjoy a Passover Seder attended by several hundred guests. It is a unique event to connect the Old and the New Testaments. The Passover was given to the Jews as an everlasting ordinance [Ex.12:14, 24]. As long as the old covenant was in existence the epic story of God’s deliverance and redemption would be retold. As the Last Supper transitions to the Lord’s Supper we are reminded of Jesus’ words in the Upper Room, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” [1Cor.11:25]. There is value to commemoration and celebration.
We move rapidly from the Passover to Good Friday services. The mood is relatively somber and reflective at the thought of Jesus’ suffering and the cross. Nevertheless, there is a sense of not only commemoration as we remember what Jesus did, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” [Lu.22:19], but also celebration that the dominance of sin has been defeated and the way to communion with God has been made. This year is extra special as we contemplate Jesus’ seven statements from the cross as six of our teaching pastors share. As we reflect on that day when Jesus gave his life for us, and His encouraging words from the cross, we appreciate why we know the day as Good Friday. There is value to commemoration and celebration.
Then we gather for the greatest commemoration and celebration on the Christian calendar –Resurrection Sunday. The overwhelming evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Christ rose from the dead as foretold by the prophets provides us with a living hope and sure inheritance. We can know that we are saved through faith in Christ and the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available for us to live for Christ while we wait for His return [1Pet.1:3-5]. In Camarillo we are blessed to live in a part of the world with amazing weather. We are able to experience an epic outdoor service at a spectacular venue with thousands gathered to celebrate and commemorate the truth of the resurrection. Nevertheless, the glory of the event pales with the glory of the truth that we contemplate that day and ideally everyday. There is value to commemoration and celebration.
As I spend time today reflecting and contemplating Holy Week I’m feeling especially grateful to Christ for who He is and what He has done, is doing, and will do. And as I reflect, I must pause and express heartfelt appreciation to the community at Calvary Nexus. Your love for Christ and for others, your desire to love God and live His word is praiseworthy, and I’m blessed to serve with you. Your heart to reach our local community for Christ and to reach the globe for the gospel through foreign missions and the Calvary Church Planting Network [CCPN] is remarkable. So, as I contemplate what God has done, is doing, and with confident expectation will do through Calvary Nexus and CCPN I rejoice. There is value to commemoration and celebration.
Thanks to all of you for letting me share the experience with you!
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Bruce Zachary is the founding and lead pastor at Calvary Nexus. He and his wife Karen and their sons Josh and Jonny live in Camarillo. He enjoys teaching the Bible, fountain pens, riding his bike, and good coffee.