Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holy Week

Today is the start of Holy Week. For we Christians, this is a most significant week. I love reading about Holy Week and seeing the different interpretations of it, etc. I like to soak it all up and take it all in.

I took some of this from a reading I did today and tweaked it a big bit:
It is Sunday. It's time to leave the party at Lazarus' house and go to Jerusalem for the Festival (Lazarus was just raised from the dead....good reason to party). Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us that Jesus asks a couple of his disciples to go into a village nearby and borrow a colt that has never been ridden before.
Jesus knows all the details: where to find the colt, how they will recognize it (it's tied up), what to say to the owner of the colt. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on this colt, and people are basically proclaiming him to be their king. In those days, a king would ride into town with great fanfare on a horse, surrounded by attendants and soldiers. Jesus had none of that. But Jesus doesn't mind. It's just another one of his surprises: he shows us what kind of king he really is. He's a humble king, trekking the corridor of death (remember, he knows he's going to die this week). While Jesus is riding into town, people are laying palm branches in his path. A strange custom in our way of thinking, until we learn that for the Jews the palm was a symbol of prosperity, beauty and victory.
The actions of Day 1 of Holy Week are ironic on many levels: the people wanted him to rule their nation, but not their hearts. While the people were laying palm branches in his path, they were also shouting, "Hosanna!" which means "Save us!" Yet another irony: the people wanted him to save them, but they had no idea that it would take his death to do that. Jesus didn't want to save the people from the Romans: he wanted to save them from themselves. And he would die to make that happen. After he arrived in Jerusalem, he went to the temple and looked around. Then, "since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve." (Mark 11:11). I wonder what he thought as he lay down that night, the end of a long day, the end of a long month, the beginning of a long week. I can't even imagine.

I used to sing this song at Red Banks Baptist Church when we were members there, soon after
moving to north Mississippi. It still gives me chills. So powerful.



Jodi said...

I love Holy Week. Easter is my favorite holiday, and my favorite time of year. I get choked up thinking about it. I enjoyed this post!

Posh Mommy said...

I too enjoyed this post. It is so easy to forget the magnitude of our Lord's sacrifice. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

40 years ago after my father returned from a trip to the holy land I asked him what impressed him the most about his trip. He said several things stood out: Standing on Golgotha's hill and walking through the Garden were two special events. But the one moment that he said would always be special was the day he got to stand in the place believed to be the Tomb where his Lord and Savior rose from the dead. My Dad said he got cold chills and tears formed in his eyes. He said he walked away from that place thanking God that he finally got to stand at the spot he preached about for so many years. Yes, Easter has always been special to our family. You see, without Easter, Christmas would have been a day when just another mortal was born. UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE !!