Each year, as is our custom, we gather to meditate on what has been called “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
It is not a mere story of course. It certainly is not fiction. It is fact. It is history. It truly happened.
Nor is this true and greatest story ever told only an academic exercise, a dusty old document detached from your life and mine. It is, instead, the story of God’s bleeding love for every soul ever born.
The importance of the final week of Christ’s life is made plain by the sheer amount of space the four Gospel writers devote to it.
Out of the 28 chapters of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 8 of those chapters record that final week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
In the Gospel of St. Mark, 6 out of 16 chapters deal with that final week which we call “Holy Week.”
In the Gospel of St. Luke, out of his 24 chapters, 5 ½ long chapters tell us about this period of our Lord’s life.
And in the Gospel according to St. John, nearly half of his Gospel is devoted to the final week!
Our Lord walked on this earth for about 33 years. In the story of His life as told in the four Gospels, about one-fourth of all the chapters deal with just one week out of those 33 years – the week our dear Savior suffered, died and rose from the dead.
Our Lenten sermon series this year follows this final week as the Holy Spirit inspired St. Luke to write it down.
For broken people like us who live in a broken world with broken lives and broken hearts, our annual walk along the way of sorrows to the cross is more than mere tradition. All of this is deeply personal. The Bible teaches that when Adam sinned, we sinned, and we died. It also teaches that when Christ died, we died. His death is our death. His payment for sin is our payment. You and I know what those sins are. And His resurrection is the unfailing guarantee that we too shall rise to life everlasting. In other words, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” has forever changed the story of your life and mine. Let us never tire of hearing it.