Why did Jesus die? 

 This is a central question of the Christian faith, and yet most Christians struggle to answer it. The most common response is to say that, “Jesus died for me so that I could be forgiven and go to heaven when I die.” But this very limited and little understood perspective on Jesus’ death ignores most of his life and work. And it is a very recent view on the meaning of the cross.

The problem with having an undeveloped perspective on the crucifixion is that our beliefs about Jesus’ death shape how we understand God, ourselves, our world, and the purpose of following Jesus. If the only value in Jesus’ sacrifice is to get us to heaven after we die, then there is little value to anything in this life—and that means that there is no need to care for the earth, love our enemies (who will be destroyed by God anyway), or look after our bodies. And yet these are the very things Jesus taught us to do.

There is a huge disconnect between Jesus' message and mission and what we have been taught about his death. It’s time to take another look at this most extraordinary execution in history and dive more deeply into what it means for how we live and love here and now.

Holy Week gives us a unique opportunity to explore the rich and ancient Christian heritage of thinking and experience around the cross of Christ. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to this new guide for Holy Week from Sacredise:
An Extraordinary Execution

Why Jesus’ death matters here and now.

Based on the readings from the Gospel of John for Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary, An Extraordinary Execution explores some of the primary ways that Jesus’ crucifixion has been understood through Christian history and how they can be reinterpreted and applied to our lives in the 21st Century. This is not just a theological discussion around the cross. It is a challenge to respond more deeply and intentionally to Jesus’ call for us to take up our crosses and follow him. And it is an invitation to build our lives around the liberating truths that are so powerfully proclaimed in Jesus’ death.  

Each Chapter of An Extraordinary Execution explores one perspective on the cross, reinterpreting it in the light of Jesus’ life and his message of God’s reign. And then each chapter shows us one of the many ways that Jesus death saves us, and how we can live into the reality of our salvation in this life. It’s a call to become participants in—not just consumers of—God’s work of making our world one and whole in Christ. And it’s an invitation to follow Jesus through death into the abundant life of resurrection.

An Extraordinary Execution is designed to help you and your community engage with the deep questions around the life and death of Christ in ways that are clear, challenging, and relevant. It includes everything you need to spark your creativity and ensure that your Holy Week services are deeply worshipful, informative, and participative. The resources contained in this guide can easily be adapted to fit your community’s culture and tradition while also offering a unique and fresh perspective on ancient truths and practices.

AN EXTRAORDINARY EXECUTION is available in three options:

Liturgical Guide includes:
● Sermon starter chapters for Palm Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Good Friday;
● Purpose written prayers and liturgies for every service during Holy Week;
● Gathering, Responding, and Integrating liturgies for all services in the series;
● Theme-based liturgies for the Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service and the Saturday Evening Easter Vigil;
● A theme-based Table Liturgy that can be used at any service;
● Theme-based graphics for your projection software, including welcome screens and backgrounds for song lyrics, liturgies, and sermon notes.

Devotional Guide includes:
● Preparing, Responding, and Integrating practices for every day of Holy Week to ensure that people can easily apply the message of each day to their own lives;
● Copies of the Sermon Starters for each service for quick reference in daily devotional practice;
● Daily reflection questions to enable people to listen more deeply to the message of the Scriptures and apply it to their lives and relationships;
● Personal Tenebrae and Easter Vigil liturgies for those who are unable to share in the corporate expressions of these practices.
Bundle includes:
Designed for communities that want to journey together, while also providing a meaningful personal journey for congregation members, the Bundle includes both the Liturgical and the Devotional Guides. It also includes a license to share the devotional guides through any or all of the following channels: 
Printed handouts to distribute to congregation members; 
Digital copies sent to members via email;
Posted on your church's social media channels;
Posted on your church's website.


includes the following chapters:

Palm/Passion Sunday: The Saving Servant
On Palm Sunday, as Jesus put his nature as the Saving Servant in stark contrast to the dominating power of Rome, we cannot miss the call to be servants as we follow Christ. And when we respond to that call, we discover that it is a true, liberating, and transforming path to salvation.

Holy Monday: The Perfect Example
When we follow Jesus’ example, we may endure pain, rejection, and even martyrdom in our quest to embody beauty, goodness, and truth, and to eradicate the injustice that robs others of life. But we will be truly and abundantly alive through it all—as Jesus was. 

Holy Tuesday: The Ultimate Love
If we are able to believe that the heart of the atonement is God’s invitation into loving union with God, then maybe we can begin to expand our view of love until we realise that nothing else can or must be added to love for us to be saved.

Holy Wednesday: The Final Sacrifice
When the cross is a symbol not of God’s punishment for sin, but of God’s transforming, healing, and restoring love, then we are truly free—to live and love as extravagantly, indiscriminately, and infinitely as God loves us.

Maundy Thursday (Tenebrae): The Inextinguishable Light
Based on readings from Mark's Gospel, this Service of the Shadows invites us to meditate on how the Light of Christ remained unquenched by the darkness of betrayal, false accusations, and hatred that lead to the cross.

Good Friday: The Unlikely Victor
Jesus overcomes evil and death by refusing to play their game or obey their rules. And in doing so he offers us all a way to be free of the cycle of evil in our own lives and relationships. 

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil): The Unquenchable Life
A contemplative service which follows the story of salvation through the Bible and draws us into an experience of God's grace, love and unquenchable life.