This Sunday, Christians all over the world will mark the start of the Passion Week to commemorate the final darkest hours of our Lord and Saviour before the dawn of a new beginning for mankind in the Kingdom of God. This year is even more significant, as the Christian Holy Day of Good Friday coincides with the Jewish Pesach (Passover) Celebration - as indeed they should, both being one and the same event.
As the Greater Light, Jesus' life and ministry, crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension capped the end of the Fourth Day of Creation. In Him, "the people walking in darkness have seen a great light" (Mt 4:16, Isa 9:2). In Jesus, we have a Saviour who is not only our Great Light but who also understands the utter darkness within us, having walked through the darkest moment of separation from God in order to bring us into the marvellous light where we have Shalom with our Heavenly Father.
But this is only one view (our view) of the Gospel or Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus kicked off His ministry by announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God. Indeed, much of what He preached and taught concerned the nature and attributes of His Messianic Kingdom and that of His Kingdom subjects. This is God's view - the increase and perfection of His Kingdom rule in us and eventually throughout all history and creation and into eternity in Jesus Christ.
As we remember Jesus' death and resurrection this coming week, may we also die to self and live to God as His faithful kingdom subjects until our Lord, Master and King returns.