Holding Hands

Grace, Race and Holy Week

I was the only Asian kid in my Sunday School. In fact I was the only non-white person in the entire church. I was a random walk-in with virtually no knowledge about Jesus. Half Sri-Lankan, a quarter Indian and a quarter Irish brought up in a Hindu/Catholic mash-up, I had an awful lot of questions for my poor Sunday School teachers who were not trained at all in cross-cultural evangelism.

 

The disciples were also caught off-guard as a handful of non-Jews quiz them about Jesus in the week before his last Passover festival. They had been taught to say a prayer of thanks that they were not born Gentiles, so when they ask Jesus for some help with handling the Greeks, he gives them a cryptic response to their dilemma.

 

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour….

John 12:23ff

It is the Passover festival, when Jews celebrate the sacrificial lamb who was killed in the place of the first born son of every Jewish household. But now Jesus is saying that he will be killed as our Passover lamb. Jesus is clear that his death will not be a miscarriage of justice, or a waste of a life. His death will be in place of all who put their trust in him.

When the Passover changed to Easter, Jesus wanted us to know that everyone is invited to the celebration. His death will bring freedom and hope to all people, Jews, Greeks, and even to those who are half Sri-Lankan, quarter Indian and quarter Irish.

You can listen to this as an mp3 thanks to Premier Radio.