Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you should love one another.” John 13:34
It is finally here. The three days that bring the Christian story to a head.
In Latin the name for this series of events is the Triduum – which means the “three days.” These are Jewish days, meaning that each day begins in the evening and continues until the following evening. One Jewish day includes parts of two of our days since the Jewish day begins at sundown and continues into what we consider to be the following day. So here are the three days:
- Day One: We begin in the evening on Thursday with the Last Supper where we remember Jesus washing his disciples feet and sharing his last supper with them. It continues on Friday throughout the day but Jesus is crucified, dies and is buried in the tomb in the afternoon, before the sun sets. That means that all of this happens on the same day in the Jewish calendar. We will gather Thursday night for foot washing and communion to remember the last night of Jesus’ life.
- Day Two: This is the day that lasts from sunset on Friday through sunset on Saturday. It is the day Jesus spends the full day in the tomb. Legends exist saying that on this day he went down into hell with all who had died before him and released all who were captive there. We will gather Friday evening to honor this day with a remembrance of the cross of Jesus.
- Day Three: This day begins at sunset on Saturday evening and “On the third day…” Jesus is raised from the dead. This is Easter day and we take time to celebrate the victory Christ brings and the new life that is ours in Christ. We’ll honor this with sunrise worship early in the morning followed by festive worship services at our normal time.
The cross and resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian message. The journey to the cross is a story of the persistent love of God and the faithfulness of Jesus to share that love no matter what the cost. The resurrection of Jesus is about that same persistent God coming back again (and again and again and…) to bring life out of death and hope out of despair. May you meet the risen Jesus this Easter in new and meaningful ways.