This Sunday we begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday and the remembrance of Jesus “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem. It is a day celebration, of children singing, palm branches waving, even egg hunting (not to mention Masters Sunday!). And before we turn around we will be back on Easter Sunday morning for that magnificent music, packed sanctuary adorned with lilies, bright Easter clothes, and the best news of all, “Christ is risen”. However, it is what comes in between that is too crucial to rush through or gloss over.
The tide would turn quickly for Jesus on Monday with the clearing of the temple (Matthew 21:10-17. On Tuesday his controversial teachings would systematically alienate every religious group in Jerusalem and end with scheme to kill him (Luke 20:1-21:38). On Wednesday, a woman would anoint him with expensive perfume. He told her critics it was for his burial (Mark 14:1-11). On Thursday he celebrated the Passover, initiated the bread and cup as a remembrance of his body broken and blood shed to initiate new covenant, and prayed in agony in the garden as the day of his death was dawning (Luke 22:7-65). And finally on Friday they put him on trial, mocked, beat, and crucified him for our sin (Mark 15:1-47). On Saturday his followers grieved in disbelief and discovered what it is like to be without hope.
These are days we need to ponder the depth of his love for us and the gravity of our sin for which he died. If we are to truly celebrate His resurrection on Easter, we must descend with him into the depths of his agony, death, and grief. Join us for a Holy Week. What makes it “Holy” is we set it apart so we don’t forget and it sets us apart as followers of the crucified messiah and risen Lord. Join us each day on this “via dolorosa”. It is the only way to Easter.