For Christians all around the world, this week commences the annual celebration of Holy Week. Holy Week serves as a remembrance of the last week of Jesus’ life on Earth.
What is Holy Week?
For Christians, ‘Holy Week’ refers to the last week in Jesus’ life. It begins with Palm Sunday – the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowds waved palm leaves at him as a sign of respect.
Holy Week precedes the great celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, commemorating the Passion of Christ, and the events immediately leading up to it.
What Happened During Holy Week?
Beginning with Palm Sunday, the week progressed with Jesus teaching in the Temple and challenging the hypocritical Jewish authorities. On the Thursday, Jesus and his disciples gathered for the Last Supper, during which Jesus taught the disciples about Communion and invited them to share bread and wine in remembrance of him. Later that evening, after being betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus was arrested and taken into custody by the Romans.
Jesus was tried in a highly public trial on Friday, scourged, and crucified. This day is called Good Friday. While it was the darkest day in human history from one perspective, it was the greatest day in all history because through it Jesus paid the debt of our sins and paved the way for us to be reunited with God.
Saturday his dead body rested in the Tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea.
Sunday morning, the heavily guarded and sealed Tomb was discovered to be empty, with the resurrected Jesus revealing himself to a number of his beloved followers proving that He had defeated death.
Why is this important?
- We are separated from God because of our sin. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
- According to Scripture, the penalty for sin is death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
- Good News! Jesus Christ paid the debt of our sin by dying on the Cross. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
- By confessing our sin to God and agreeing to repent and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sin. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.(Romans 10:9,10)
Holy Week commemorates God’s work on our behalf. Separated from God by our sins, the Lord took the initiative, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us, who were once considered unredeemable. Through God’s grace, by faith in Christ, you and I are able to reunite with the Lord, and indwelled by the Spirit, we are able to live lives of purpose, fulfilling God’s plan and calling on our lives. Because Jesus lives, you and I can shed our old clothing and put on our new gown, cloaked in the righteousness of Christ, who, through the work on the Cross, made it possible for us to stand in the presence of the Lord forever. The gift is wrapped, sealed, and delivered. All we have to do is receive that which cost us nothing, but cost God everything. No, you and I aren’t worthy. No, we don’t deserve it. But God, because of His love for us, sought us and bought us with the blood of His own Son.
Come to the Altar.
What will you do with Jesus?
I pray you’ll ask Him to be your Lord and Savior and make this the greatest Easter of your life.
May the Lord, our God, shine His favor on you and yours.