Palm Sunday is past. The entry into Jerusalem, somewhat like a parade amidst the crowds shouting Hosanna, is now a dim memory. A habit I developed years ago was working my way through the Gospel accounts of the events of Holy Week, including Jesus’ teaching, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. The Gospels spend much time recounting the week’s events that changed the world. Though I have known the story for decades, the refresher I receive this week is meaningful. So much to see, hear, and experience! Jesus’ teaching, serving, and dying for our sins. It culminates with the Resurrection. Because He lives, we have eternal life.
The old spiritual “Were you there?” lends a mournful and somber witness to the events of Holy Week. As the song states, “sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, were you there when they crucified my Lord?” This old story must never become routine and ordinary or lapse into a ho-hum attitude on our part. We must remember how great the love of God is that He would send His own Son to die for our sins. This week hear His teaching to the disciples in John 14-17, understanding that He is mere hours away from His death. Significance is packed in to last words. What did Jesus think was important enough to share with His disciples? I love reading this portion of John’s gospel, especially this week. Spend some moments at the last meal and the inaugural “last supper” as He speaks of the significance of Holy Communion. Reflect on His serving posture as He washes His disciples’ feet. Jesus reminds us regardless of what is about to take place, it is always time for His followers to serve. Spend some time in the garden as He grapples with the reality of His sacrifice about to happen.
Humanity’s history starts in a garden, and our salvation is prayed for in a garden. In the garden, Jesus decides following the will of the Father is a must! Sit in the courtroom as a mock trial is conducted, and the sentence is handed down to crucify Him. Walk with Him on the way to the cross! Experience the horrible reality of the cross and its intense pain and shame. Remember, He did it for you and me! We are often too quick to move to resurrection Sunday and enter the joyous celebration. The joy of Easter comes because we understand that out of hatred, animosity, and death, God has and always does have the last word.
Holy Week is a time to renew, recommit and remember. Were you there?
One Thought to “Were You There?”
Meaningful words as I reflect on this Holy Week a series of event that changed the world forever.