It’s been quite the week–and it’s only Wednesday! God and I have covered a lot of ground in the past few days, and I’m excited to share it all for you. But this week, I need the Easter journey. So, I’m re-posting a blog from 2011. It’s just a few simple thoughts on the importance of Holy Week.
Easter is coming!! Share the good news!
This past Sunday marked the beginning of what we in the Methodist church simply refer to as “Holy Week”. For us, it is the most sacred time of year, the week in which we walk with Jesus from his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, through the valley of the shadow of death, to emerge once again victorious in resurrection. We mark the week with services on Thursday, Friday and Sunday in order to remember and commemorate the Last Supper, the Crucifixtion and the Resurrection. It is so tempting to run from the celebration on Palm Sunday to the pure joy Easter morning brings. However, when we do that, when we don’t walk with Jesus through the valley, we miss the whole point of Easter. Easter doesn’t begin with the empty tomb (it doesn’t end there either, for that matter). Easter begins with Jesus’ willing walk to the cross, through torture, humiliation and agonizing pain. We need to bear witness to that part of the story, painful though it may be, to understand the full meaning of the sacrifice of love God made. And, we need to understand that we, like those who lived two thousand years ago, are culprits in the crime. We, like the soldiers, have mocked Jesus. We, like Peter, have denied him. We, like Judas, have betrayed him. We, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, have failed to recognize him. (See Rev. Adam Hamilton’s book, 24 Hours That Changed the World)
I would challenge you, as you continue through this most Holy of weeks, to spend some time in the valley with Jesus. Walk through the darkness of Thursday and Friday. See Jesus’ anguish in Gethsemane. Watch as he is beaten, humiliated and mocked. And finally, bear witness to his death on the cross, realizing that it was because of us, and for us, that this sacrifice was made. Then, and only then, can we rise on Sunday morning and sing with joy, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow….”
Blessings and Peace,