Archive for March, 2013

Holy Week

March 25, 2013

As we approach Holy Week, I hope that most of you who go to church heard not only the Palm Sunday message but the passion of Christ. When I was in the pulpit, I just couldn’t leave the congregation celebrating Jesus entry into Jerusalem when the next Sunday we celebrate the risen Christ.

Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ needs to know how we get from celebration to celebration..that it is a horrific experience that should convince you that Christ died for you and all humankind. I have attended lectures where they discussed the effect on the human body of hanging on a cross and what eventually brings death.. it is not pretty.. If you didn’t see the movie “The Passion of Christ” you may not have a full understanding of what his “sacrifice” really entailed.

If you came to Palm Sunday and then not show up until Easter Sunday you might say well, ” I read the bible, the story of Christ’s passion”. Yes but how can you really understand and celebrate the Risen Christ unless you experienced what he went through during the last week of his life.

Now if you are one to be at all the significant events on the Church calendar, you will probably attend church Thursday of Holy Week,  Maundy Thursday.This is the day we remember the last supper Christ had with his disciples in the Upper Room. Maundy comes from the french word “Mande” meaning command or mandate. Christ washed the disciples feet and then mandated that they like him, be servants of all and wash each others feet. Then they celebrated the Eucharist or Last Supper.

The next day is “Good Friday”. This is the day we remember and meditate on Jesus’ last hours. His beatings his torturous walk to Golgotha on the Via Dolorosa and his suffering and death on the cross. To answer why it is called Good Friday, I think a BC cartoon of several years ago says it quite well:
Friend: ” I hate the term Good Friday”; BC: “Why?”; Friend: “My Lord was hanged on a tree today”; BC: ” IF you were going to be hanged on that day, and he volunteered to take your place , how would you feel?”; Friend: “Good”; BC: ” Have a nice day”
It is a heartbreaking day to know that Christ suffered and died on that cross.This poem (author unknown) says it eloquently:
This is the day he suffered
This is the day he died.
The day that he was martyred
The day the angels cried.

This is the day the soldiers jeered
When they nailed him to the cross
The day that foolish people cheered
Not aware of their great loss

This is the day the doves flew away
The day that His blood ran free
This is the day mankind was saved,
This day on  Calvary

This is the day of heartache
The day of sacrifice
This is the day He led the way
Into paradise

This is the day we need to pray
We need to fall upon our knees
This is the day we need to say
Father forgive us please

SO if we have experienced these events during Holy Week we surely can rejoice on Easter Sunday, knowing that God through His Son has truly given us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

I urge you to go to Matthew and read Chapters 26 & 27. As you do, maybe there is someone who needs to hear the passion story as well. Invite them to read it with you.. That is sharing the Good News and we are all called to do just that! Amen