Depending on which paper you are reading this article from (by the way, thank you), Holy week is either about to begin, or you are neck deep into it.
For those who are wondering, Holy Week is the time frame between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. In the story of Christ, this is where the Passion begins and ends. From Sunday to Friday, we follow Christ as he teaches his final lessons and does his final miracles before being arrested for heresy and blasphemy.
Thursday is the day where things arguably get out of hand. As the sun is going down, he and the disciples went into an upper room. There they celebrated a Passover meal, and it was there we see the first Lord’s supper. Also it was there that we see foot washing as a practice of Jesus’ followers.
Later that evening, Jesus and the disciples go out and pray. It is there that Jesus is arrested and the whole Good Friday is acted out. Later in the morning, a crowd will gather and shout at the top of the lungs, “Crucify Him!”
Then the crucifixion and death of the son of God.
The Sunday before all of this, Christ is hailed as the Messiah, the chosen one. The people looked to him to change the world and free the nation of Israel from the curse of the Roman occupation. The same voices that shouted “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord…”, will become the voices that cry out for His death.
Lest you go too hard on these people, and their fickleness, look in the mirror. How many times have we as a society cheered our on hero’s only to turn on them when they stop producing? How many times have we supported a new idea, until it affected us? How many people have we turned on because our expectations were not met by their performance? Human nature has not really changed over the past few millennia.
The difference here is not in the human condition, but in the actions of Jesus. Many times, the people that get condemned after their “fall from grace” never fully recover. Jesus, however, stuck to the plan. Jesus had all the reason in the world to leave the people condemned in their sin, yet He went to the tree.
Even after the horrendous punishment and walk to Golgotha; even after the brutal nailing to the cross, Jesus still said “Father, forgive them”. Had it been anyone else, our condemnation would have been sealed and the hope of Humanity would have been lost. But the Son of God, who knows us so well, was not going to yell defeat. He would whisper, “It is finished”.
The hold of evil and death is finished. There is now only hope and promise.
The point is this; The coming Easter is not about bunnies and chocolate. It is about God making a promise and following through, even when we fail. If nothing else, Holy week proves God perseverance in our Salvation.
Something to think about.
Shalom my friends.
See you in church.
Rev. Kent Wilfong is the pastor at the United Methodist Church, Doniphan/Neelyville.