As we approach the Christian Holy Week, we are reminded of the tremendous significance that this week holds in the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ. This week commemorates the last days of Jesus Christ, leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection. It is a time of deep reflection and contemplation, where we are called to focus our attention on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross.
The Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, which marks the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where He was welcomed by the crowds waving palm branches and shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Matthew 21:9). This day is a reminder of the importance of acknowledging Jesus as our King and Lord.
The following days of the Holy Week lead us through the Last Supper, where Jesus shared bread and wine with His disciples, signifying His body and blood. This foreshadowed His sacrificial death, which He would soon undergo for the sake of humanity.
This was followed by Jesus' betrayal by Judas, His arrest, trial, and ultimately, His crucifixion on Good Friday. It was a brutal and painful death that Jesus endured, but one that has immense significance for all of humanity.
As an Anglican evangelical theologian, J.I. Packer once wrote, "The gospel is Good News of mercy to the undeserving. The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales." The Holy Week reminds us of God's immense mercy and love for us, demonstrated through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. The apostle Paul also reminds us in Romans 5:8 that "God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
The Holy Week culminates in the Easter Sunday celebration, which marks Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead. It is a reminder that death could not hold Jesus down and that He has overcome the powers of sin and death. As Anglican theologian N.T. Wright wrote, "The message of Easter is that God's new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you're now invited to belong to it." It is an invitation to all of us to be a part of God's new world, live in the light of Jesus' resurrection, and walk in the freedom and hopes it brings.
As we approach the Holy Week, let us take some time to reflect on the immense sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. Let us remember the depth of God's love for us and our hope in Jesus' resurrection. And let us be challenged to attend a service this week at our local church, where we can come together with other believers to worship, pray, and reflect on the significance of the Holy Week in our walk of discipleship and to follow Jesus. We would love to see you this week on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (at. 7:45 PM) as we look to the Cross of Christ.