So, today we find ourselves on Tuesday of Holy Week.
It is one of the most amazing, dramatic and emotional weeks in the liturgical calendar. Often times, we rush to the resurrection and miss out on the journey that brought us there. Let us walk through it now..
PALM SUNDAY (Luke 19:28-40)
Holy week starts off with a celebration and parade into the Holy City, Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey as a conquering hero with crowds cheering him on all the way. This scene is in direct opposition to the Roman Empire of the day. The crowd believed that this was the moment when Jesus was to overthrow Rome and bring about God’s rule. With shouts of “Hosanna!” meaning “Save us now!” the crowds believed that this was the big moment everyone was awaiting from the Savoir.
Have you ever been part of a crowd that was excited about something, that ended up not happening? Maybe a sports team or election? How did it feel for what you had hoped to not happen?
HOLY MONDAY (John 12:1-11)
Here we find a story that both celebrates who Jesus is and what he will have to go through. It hints to us that just as Lazarus was raised from the dead, so Jesus might be too, but resurrection can only happen if death happens first.
Have you ever had a known you were going to go through something that would be difficult? How did you live differently because of it?
HOLY TUESDAY (John 12:20-36)
Here we see a crowd addressing Jesus with confusion. You see, it was believed that the Messiah would live forever and reign forever. "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"(v. 34) Even though Jesus has said many times that he must die, many were confused because of this belief. He reminds them that it is through death that true life might be found. “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (v. 25)
What might need to “die” in your life so that you might find new life in Christ?
HOLY WEDNESDAY (John 13:21-32)
It is here that we find out that Jesus knows not only what is to come, but who is going to start the wheels moving. Can you imagine what it would be like to be betrayed by a close friend? Have you ever been? It seems like Jesus isn’t angry at Judas, as if he knows Judas is being put up to this by something else.
Can you imagine forgiving the one who has betrayed you? Do you think Jesus forgives Judas?
MAUNDY THURSDAY (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)
Maundy is believed to come from the Latin word “Mandatum” meaning mandate or command reminding us of Jesus’ mandate to love and serve each other as he has loved us. Here we find where Jesus reminds his disciples one last time of our call to serve when he washes their feet. This is also a place where we are reminded of Christ at the last supper, offering himself for us and the world, mandating: “Do this in remembrance of me.”
How do you live out this commandment to love as we have been loved? How could you take steps to do this better?
TENEBRAE or GOOD FRIDAY (John 18:1-19:42)
Tenebrae is Latin for “Shadows.” Good Friday is a day of shadow and darkness. It is on this day that we walk through the last words and moments of Christ before his death. Can you imagine what it would be like to be at this scene not knowing what was to come in the following days? Darkness and shadow is a perfect description.
What is the darkest time you have had in your life? How did it feel? Where did you find hope? Have you?
HOLY SATURDAY (John 19:38-42)
On this day, which I think could be called Silent Saturday; is a day of fasting, even from words, as we still sit in the darkness but await and hope for what is to come. Imagine if you were there on the day after Jesus was Crucified. He was the One, right? Why didn’t he save us? Was he the one? So many questions…so much shock…silence.
What if we didn’t know that Sunday was coming? What would change?
EASTER SUNDAY! (Luke 24:1-12)
What?!?! Did you hear?! They said he was not there! The tomb is empty!!! What does this mean? How can it be? Christ is Risen!!!!
After going through the whole week, how much more does the empty tomb mean to you? After seeing the love, the truly selfless love, after the confusion and darkness, there is HOPE!
THERE IS HOPE AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE HOPE, FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN!
It is too easy to skip to the end of the story, but it doesn’t mean as much unless we walk with Jesus through Holy Week.
How does resurrection mean more after you have walked through darkness into light? How can you share this with others?
May we all walk through Holy Week in a way that we might realize the amazing impact of the empty tomb.