It’s a good time to be a sports fan in South Carolina. Consider the NCAA: the reigning national champions in baseball are the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers; in football it is the Clemson Tigers; in women’s hoops it is the USC Gamecocks. Even USC’s men’s team travelled into their first Final Four by beating the mighty Florida Gators (there is a pun there for those saw the game). Plus there are many excited Tar Heel fans living in the southern half of the Carolinas.
Go back to last year and the Carolina Panthers played in the Super Bowl.
I know that over the last year there has been a lot of celebrating from our sports fans. I hope, though, that the events of last week caused more celebration than anything that happened on the field or court. In a week’s time we observed Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday.
On Palm Sunday we remember Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The crowd that day shouted, “Hosanna,” which in Hebrew means, “Save us now, Yahweh!” This is a day that we recognize Jesus as King, the long prophesied Messiah.
On Maundy Thursday we think back to the night that Jesus washed His disciples’ feet in the upper room. This is a day we appreciate the humility of Jesus, and we remember that He gave us an example to serve others. (Maundy is a Latin word for commandment, as in, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.”)
On Good Friday we reflect on Jesus’ willingness to go to the cross; no one took His life, but Jesus laid it down for us. This is a day we remember that Jesus died to pay the penalty that sin demanded—a price we could never pay ourselves.
On Resurrection Sunday we celebrate the empty tomb, not only for Jesus’ sake, but for our own. Death could not stop Him, and the grave could not hold Him. This is a day we rejoice in our victorious Lord who now freely offers salvation to all who call upon His name.
As Christians we certainly have a lot to celebrate!
He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,