This week Christians all over the world are paying special attention to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you grew up in a tradition that celebrated Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday, you are familiar with the rich history of Christians throughout the centuries celebrating some of the darkest AND brightest days in the history of the world. Early in the week there is wild adulation of Jesus as King when he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. Later there is the sorrow as Christ suffers, dies on the cross, and is buried. It is a week of highs and lows… Some people would rather avoid the tensions of this week altogether, and skip directly to Resurrection Sunday!
While it’s true that significant amounts of every Gospel and almost half of the book of John deal with the final week of the Lord’s life, there is no instruction from Jesus or the writers of Scripture to designate these days in a unique way. To be sure, for some, Holy Week may hold a sense of empty ritual and duty instead of heartfelt reflection and celebration.
What if we saw Holy Week, not just as tradition, nor as an obligation, but as an invitation?
- It is an invitation to be like Christ—not just during the celebrations of Palm Sunday—but also learning how to be like Christ in the midst of heartache, weeping, conflict, betrayal, pain, and death.
- It is an invitation to persevere toward the goal of pleasing the Father. To keep the joy set before us, just as Jesus did when He walked into the final stages of God’s plan for our redemption.
- It is an invitation to affirm the church around the world and throughout the centuries as we reflect together on the most important realities in the universe.
- It is an invitation to trust in the transforming power of God regardless of how dark your situation may be. That’s the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and it’s available to you!
So pray that God will deepen your understanding and appreciation for what Christ went through during this week. Celebrate again the deep, deep love of God. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Our Good Friday service starts at 7 pm. Resurrection Sunday services are at 9:00 and 10:45 am. These are “family friendly” services, but will have childcare for children up to Pre-Kindergarten. Give someone you know an invitation to join us for these services and for the Andrew Palau outreach event on April 10th – “The Secret Life of a Fool”.
He is Risen Indeed,
P.S. Historically “Maundy Thursday” commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified. Derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” Maundy refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice.