Thursday, March 29, 2018

Journey To The Cross by Terri Weldon




This post first ran in 2016. But since this is Holy Week, I felt it was appropriate to run again. Have a blessed Easter. 

Easter is one of the most glorious days on the Christian calendar. Take a minute to stop and reflect on exactly what that means to each of us. Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified. He died on the cross bearing our sins. On the third day He rose again. Death and the grave were defeated. Because of His sacrifice we have eternal life. No wonder Christians all over the world celebrate Easter. 

For most of my life I celebrated Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and then fast forwarded to the empty tomb on Easter morning. I never stopped to think about what happened on the days between. 


Then one year I finally heard our Pastor say you can’t truly appreciate Easter if you haven’t traveled the road to the cross. Now there are two things to understand here. The first is I use the word finally because I’m sure he had said it before but it went in one ear and out the other. The second is that he said it much more eloquently than me. 

So now I travel with Christ on His journey. On Palm Sunday I stand in church and sing Hosanna in the highest as I wave my palm branch. In my mind I can imagine Jesus riding on the colt and the people welcoming Him as King. 

From there I go to Maundy Thursday. I sit at the table in a candlelit room and dine on food such as fish, nuts, bread, cheese, and fruit that Jesus and His disciples might have shared at the Passover or Last Supper.  And as the meal concludes and the services progresses I’m reminded that one of Jesus’ own disciples, Judas, had determined in his heart to betray Christ. If I had been there would I have been a Judas or a John? 

On Good Friday I enter the church for what has become one of my favorite services – Tenebrae. The lights in the sanctuary are diminished as the services progresses. Scriptures are read, the choir sings, often times there is a brief reenactment of how Christ was betrayed, the crowd having gone from calling Him King to yelling crucify Him in one short week. And some years there is the horrible sound of the nails hammering Christ to the cross. 

How you ask, can this be one of my favorite services? Because it drives home how much Jesus sacrificed and suffered for me. Those were my sins that nailed him to the cross, my shame and guilt that put Him in the tomb. As I leave the service in darkness and quiet I realize what His death means to me.

And on Sunday the sanctuary is dark when I enter. But in just a few minutes the shout of Christ is risen, risen indeed is shouted out. The lights are turned on and we rejoice because the stone has been rolled away!

For me the journey to the cross makes Easter morning all the more precious. Deciding whether or not to take that journey is a personal choice, but I hope it is one you will at least consider this year.

What about you? How do you prepare your heart for Easter? I hope you will take a few moments to share with me. 



Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Her dream of becoming a published novelist came true in November 2013 when Mistletoe Magic, released from White Rose Publishing. 

Readers can connect with Terri: Website: www.TerriWeldon.comBlog: Seriously Write



11 comments:

  1. Terri, thank you for sharing your walk to the cross experiences. Since we’ve moved many times, our Easter services have been different in each place. One of my favorites is the sunrise service I attended in high school on a beach in Connecticut. It was cold and dark as we silently gathered on the shore. The only sound was the lapping of the waves. Then as the sky lightened and the sun appeared, joyous song filled the air. I still get chills thinking of the meaning of that moment. May your Easter be filled with blessings as we appreciate His sacrifice!

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    1. Sherida, your sunrise service sounds so moving. I understand why it still moves you today. Thanks for sharing your Easter blessing with us.

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  2. Good morning Terri! What a wonderful post. A reminder of what Easter truly means when it’s so easy to get lost in all the activities and responsibilities of the season. I too appreciate the walk thru Holy Week - it truly makes Easter morning come alive. Blessings!

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    1. Experiencing the journey to the cross changed my thinking in so many ways. I hope it's something I'll always hold close to my heart.

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  3. I think the Maundy Thursday service is my favorite.

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    1. Tenebrae is my personal favorite, but they are all so important. Mainly Thursday is a wonderful service!

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    2. Maundy Thursday. Autocorrect struck again.

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  4. Good Friday services have always been my favorite - even more special than Christmas. I love that time because it really puts me in touch with what Christ has done for me.

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    1. Dawn, I agree 100%. Tenebrae is my personal favorite.

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  5. What a moving post, Terri -- thank you for sharing this with us. When my children were growing up, I was always super busy as Easter approached, preparing for egg hunts, the big dinner, etc. Of course we still reflected on Jesus paying the ultimate price for our sins, and participated in special church services with my children. But now that I don't have all those extra obligations, I have more time to really slow down, be still, and ponder in my heart what happened at the cross. It brings tears to think He did that for us...and for me. Thank you again for sharing this today--exactly what I needed on this Maundy Thursday. Easter blessings and hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Patti Jo, pondering the cross and the sacrifice Christ paid so we could be saved brings tears to my eyes as well. We are so blessed!

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