The True Passion of Christ

Have you ever wondered:
• What was Jesus really trying to do in his life?
• Why was he arrested and crucified?
• What is the current view of Jesus in seminaries?
If so, then our Lenten study is for you. We are going to spend Lent examining the last six days of Jesus’ life. His last week raises critical questions about the meaning of his life and death. A close look at his last week reveals the essence of his ministry.

Unfortunately, we do not usually examine this last week. This is because our worship services during holy week have strong traditional liturgies, but very little preaching. Palm Sunday addresses Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and the next time most people are in church is Easter. We skip Jesus’ critical last week.

You could say that we are doing holy week all Lent long. Our guide for this study is “The Last Week,” by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan. This book presents a probing account of Jesus’ last days, and in so doing leads the reader to understand contemporary scholarship about Jesus’ life. This is no easy task, but Borg and Crossan make it look easy in this very readable book. Copies of the book are available for purchase in church.

Besides my weekly sermons we will have book discussion sessions following worship on March 4 and 18, and there will be an on-line book discussion. Our Lenten study will at our Facebook group page, “Conversations at The Congregational Church of Huntington.” You do need to be a Facebook user and register for the group, as it is a closed discussion. During Lent Pastor Mark will regularly post quotes and thoughts about the book and all members will be invited to respond via on-line comments.

Most people probably have learned about Jesus’ death through Mel Gibson’s blockbuster movie “The Passion of the Christ.” Jesus last week and his message are actually much more complex, and challenging than you may think. Join us for this study to be informed, challenged, and inspired, as we not only meet the historical Jesus, but meet a new Jesus who engages us and invites us to follow him.

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