Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we approach Easter this year, we have been walking through some of the various witnesses to Christ’s passion in the Gospel of John. I have been reminded of a great reflective hymn “Just as I am, Without One Plea.” It is a song that generations of Christians have been singing preparing themselves during the season of Lent, getting ready to set their hearts and minds on Jerusalem, like how Jesus set His face like flint as He went into Jerusalem.

Jesus knew everything that awaited him in God’s Holy City over 2,000 years ago. He knew about the palm branches waiving with the shouts of Hosanna! He knew about the last supper where He would establish Holy Communion as a sacrament for Christians to gather around and celebrate for centuries to come. He knew about the sleepy disciples and the utter betrayal that would take place in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew about the mock trial that would take place, the miscarriage of justice that happened under the cover of night. Jesus knew how many times he would be struck, beaten, flogged, and eventually crucified by Roman guards.

Vs. 1 Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Vs. 5 Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. (Charlotte Elliott, 1789–1871)

“O Lamb of God, I come, I come.” We gather for Holy Week because Jesus paid the ultimate price for sinners like us. We don’t have to be cleaned up before taking a shower. Jesus’ blood washes us clean of our sins, clean of our shame and guilt, it makes is whiter than snow.

God’s promise to be with us, 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) Jesus is both the giver and the gift itself whenever we celebrate Communion, it is Christ’s true body and blood given and shed for us, for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith in Him.

As Holy week is fast approaching, I hope that you take time out of your busy preparations to read the old familiar story of Christ’s suffering and death, remembering that it demonstrates just how much God loves you. He died in our place, so that our sins wouldn’t be a barrier between Him and us ever again.

Have a blessed Easter season.

In Christ’s Peace, Pastor Ryan Honeycutt