Moravian Messenger April 2020
P. 1

APRIL 2020
From Palm Sunday, through to Good Friday and on to Easter Day, Moravians will follow events from 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem as we read the scriptural accounts in the devotional publication, 'Passionweek and Eastertide'.
The triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem; the wild cheering and adulation of the crowds, the growing jealousy and hatred of the authorities, represented by the Scribes and Pharisees. The political and social situation of the period meant that the people were seeking a Messiah, and here in Jesus they saw someone who would set them free from the rule of the occupying Roman Empire.
But Jesus was not the Messiah that the people expected, and they soon became fickle in their support. They were easily swayed by the scheming of the Scribes and Pharisees, and within five days the people who had been hailing Jesus as their Saviour were calling for him to be
crucified. They were an easily manipulated mob.
It's a remarkable plot; many twists and turns, many significant characters appearing at key moments, such as Barabbas, Peter, Judas, the Scribes and Pharisees, Herod, and the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate.
Pontius Pilate - what do we make of this man, the only person, apart from Jesus and Mary his mother, who is mentioned in the great creeds of the Christian Church? Throughout the centuries, he has been condemned for his cowardice and readiness to let self-interest override his plain duty to release an obviously innocent man. We discover much about him from the questions he asked in those last few days before the crucifixion; questions reflecting those which arise in the minds of people in every age, including our own.
His first question was put directly to Jesus, with overtones of scornful amusement.
'Are you King of the Jews?' You, a mere Galilean carpenter! Jesus replied: 'My kingdom is not of this world ... everyone that is of the truth hears and obeys my voice.'
The Kingship of Jesus is crucial for Christianity. We have to ask ourselves if we believe, or indeed if we behave, as though Jesus is the Lord of all life, risen and with us today and always. This exchange seems to have made Pilate realise that Christ's power was of an utterly different character from that which he usually associated with kingship.
Pilate then seized upon the word 'truth' as used by Jesus. In the manner of one sceptical of the claims of religious and political leaders, he asked the rhetorical question, 'What is truth?' The world today is sceptical about truth, subject as we are to the pressure of media advertising, to political spin and propaganda, to claims of 'Fake News'. People today are tempted to conclude
continued inside on page 52
My experience at the URC Youth Assembly 2020
(page 51)
Irish District Youth Weekend 2019
Ultimate Questions
(page 52)
Male and female He created them
(pages 54-55)
Thy Kingdom Come
(page 56)

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