We live in a crazy, mixed-up, sin riddled world. This thought however is only a matter of pause to me when I think about the hope and peace I have in Christ.
Historically Holy Week is a time the Church reflects upon God’s love, mercy, grace, and compassion towards humanity and our desperate need for a savior. As we dive in to the Passion, we become increasingly aware we are as lost and fallen as the first century followers were. At one point we celebrate Him and at other time we fall away when things get difficult or busy. Like Peter we in one breath defend Christ but in the next breath we too can deny Him. And most regrettably, we can be found crying out “crucify Him”. Yes, we too are sinful disobedient people in need of Christ as our Lord and Savior.
The wonderful truth is, Holy Week tells us the story of how Jesus obediently went to the cross so our sins could be washed away and our lives brought back into intimate personal communion with God.
This week I invite you to experience Easter with me in a way that removes the superficial background noise from our lives. Think about not watching, reading or attending anything that does not benefit your soul. Scripture teaches us to set our minds on the things above and not on the things of the earth. What better time to take this verse to heart? Pray on what this might look like for you! For me, it will be to stop watching news and the Hallmark channel, putting technology aside and in its place focusing on Christ by reading again the Passion Narrative, tending to the daily office, walking through the Stations of the Cross, watching Biblically based media on Christ as I journal and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what truth(s) I need learn to grow closer to Christ my Redeemer.
For me Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday but really kicks in on Maundy Thursday culminating in Easter Sunday! Here’s a quick overview:
Maundy Thursday commemorates the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. A Holy Sacrament which offers us the “Bread of Life” and the “Cup of Salvation.” It is also when Jesus washes the disciples’ feet as He gives the New Commandment, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
Good Friday, a name that for years confused me and is a true dichotomy: on one hand it is a horrific day filled with torture and agony as we walk with Jesus through His humiliating trial, scourging, cross bearing, crucifixion and death. What is “good” in that? But ultimately it is a day of victory where Jesus proclaims, “It is Finished.”
Holy Saturday is the day we remember Christ spent in the grave when He descended to the dead as we await His resurrection from the grave on the third day whereby sin and death are defeated.
Alleluia, Easter Sunday arrives!!! We can now sing out our praises to the Lord rejoicing in the knowledge that Jesus Christ has risen from the grave. And as disciples, the gates of heaven are opened for us where we have everlasting life in communion with God in all His fullness.
The truth is we are living through crazy times but our life as Christians is built on solid ground. We do not need to fear for the God of the Cross has given us the everlasting Hope and stability we rest upon as we grow in Christ likeness. A likeness that is summed up in the New Commandment—to love others as He has loved us.
I look forward to what the Holy Spirit will reveal this week to you and me as we walk thru, learn from and are deeply moved by Jesus’ Passion! May God Bless you and keep you throughout Holy Week and beyond.