Ever since I became a Christian, Holy week has become one of my favorite times of year. That may sound morbid since Jesus dies on Good Friday, but Holy week is about so much more. Let's start with the definitions:
Palm Sunday : Holy week begins on Palm Sunday. This is when Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem and people place palms down on the ground. Matthew 21: 6-9 :"The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,“Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”"
So at this point, Jesus is revered and worshiped. People are throwing their clothes on the ground so that his doesn't have to touch the road. Take a moment and really think about this. Close your eyes and image the cheers, the shouts of praise, the joyous celebration.
Maundy Thursday : This can also be called Holy Thursday. It's the last supper. Jesus sits down with his disciples, breaks bread, drinks wine, and tells them that one amongst them will betray him. Matthew 26: 21 - 29When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me. They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
Again, picture the scene. Jesus is laying back, eating what he knows to be his last meal, and he's talking to his disciples and explaining that someone will betray him. It's getting close to his death and resurrection. We'll learn about those next time.
So these are two events of Holy week. Have you ever thought about the timeline? On Sunday, Jesus is loved and treated like a king. On Thursday, he's eating his last meal. On Friday he dies. In one week, he goes from one extreme to the other. Of course, there have been people trying to kill Jesus for a while, but I still think it's crazy that he went from King to cross in only a week. And he is betrayed by one of his own men, and another denies knowing him three times.
You may wonder why Jesus doesn't put an end to all this. After all, he's the son of God. Can't he keep himself from dying. Yes. But he has to die. He has to pay the price for our sins or else we won't be able to go to heaven. Why can't we go to heaven without Jesus dying? God hates sin and we are swimming in it. But when Jesus dies, he takes all of our sins with him. He washes us clean making us are able to go to God. We'll talk more about all of this as "What is Holy Week?" blogs continue. Keep tuning in!
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