HOW DO WE DO HOLY WEEK?
We begin by making our way to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday!
In Jewish history and scripture, there were two primary reasons for going to Jerusalem. You went there to enthrone the king, or to pay him homage and tribute. And you went there to meet God, to offer sacrifice, to celebrate his love, his salvation, his covenant. Of course, it is not so simplistic but enthroning the king and meeting God were the two primary reasons to go to Jerusalem.
So, this Sunday we will join Christ and the disciples and enter Jerusalem, the Holy City. We will imagine Jesus riding a donkey as the crowd waves their palm branches and shout “Hosanna!” to welcome and acknowledge him. The exclamation “Hosanna!” is a way to praise God, but also carries the literal meaning “God save us.” We begin Holy Week joining the crowd of children, young people, adults and elderly waving our palm branches and crying out, “Hosanna!” or “God save us!”.
Palm Sunday calls us to let go and give our fears, sorrows and burdens over to Christ as he enters Jerusalem to lay down his life for you! Let us be praying for one another as we gather this Sunday and begin the Holy Week journey. May each member of this body know that when Jesus walked the way of the Cross, he did what no one else could do, or would ever need to do again. He bore our pains and carried our sorrows; he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities; he defeated death by his death. We cannot do that. Even to try would be blasphemous nonsense. Holy Week celebrates the singular and unrepeatable work of Jesus Christ for all humanity!
If the two primary reasons to go to Jerusalem were, to enthrone a King and meet God, then it might be wise for us to ask ourselves two questions; what does it mean for JESUS to be king? and how do we meet God in and through JESUS? Take some time today or tomorrow and read Matthew 21:1-17 to prepare yourself for worship on Palm Sunday!
I hope you will join me on Palm Sunday as we begin our Holy Week journey!