Good morning friends. Have any of you ever felt like you are having a roller coaster week? Well, as I was reflecting a bit this morning about the most important week of the Christian calendar, Holy Week, I couldn’t help but think about what a crazy, roller coaster this week must have been for the followers of Christ. If you will allow me, I’d like to walk thru that week with you. Most of what I write can be backed up with scripture but some of it is just my surmising. Feel free to join me.
The week begins on Palm Sunday with Jesus riding into Jerusalem to the shouts of Hosanna from the adoring crowds. What an invigorating way to start the week for this crew of Christ followers. Things were looking up for the good guys! It appeared as though the movement was gaining momentum.
But then on Monday, Jesus enters the temple and is infuriated by the fact that the leaders have allowed the Gentile’s court to be turned into a marketplace instead of the place of prayer that his Father wants it to be. He causes quite a stir and I’m sure his followers are a bit worried that this could spell trouble for them. They may have even been thinking along the lines of damage control. We may need some of these temple leaders on our side if we are going to pull off a significant kingdom move.
On Tuesday, they spend a bit of time in Jerusalem, but tensions are escalating and so they skedaddle out of town and gather on the Mt of Olives for some teaching and quality time with the Master. This provides them a bit of separation from the religious leaders who aren’t happy with them at the moment, while still giving them a good view of the temple and surrounding areas. A few of them wonder where Judas has slipped off to but likely think nothing of it, and they certainly wouldn’t have imagined that he is actually in town doing a bit of under the table negotiating with the Sanhedrin. Always looking for a way to make an extra buck, but would he really stoop that low?
Scriptures don’t indicate what happened on Wednesday but allow me to surmise a bit and imagine that Jesus is just wanting to spend some quiet, quality time with some of his closest friends. Mary, Martha and Lazarus have been such a blessing to him, and he loves them like family. The human side of Jesus knows that he will certainly miss them after he is gone. Passover is tomorrow and that is always a big day and so let’s just relax today.
Early Thursday morning, Jesus rises and spends a bit of time in deep communion with his Father. This will be a traumatic day and he knows he will need the strength from Father. He has some very important lessons he wants to teach his followers about the fulfillment of Passover and how the event that they are commemorating today, has actually been pointing them to the events of this weekend. He will be the ultimate Passover lamb for each one of them, and so many of them won’t even recognize it. And then later this evening he will experience betrayal, denial, and abandonment from those closest to him. What a day! Was it really only 4 days ago that the crowds were shouting Hosanna? And now, here they come with a small army to capture him. What will they do with Jesus?
Throughout the night and into the early morning hours of Friday, the crew experiences all kinds of emotions. 1) They are terrified; what if the people that are beating Jesus finds them? 2) They are overcome with sadness and grief; their beloved Master is being treated terribly and from the looks of things, he may not even survive this one. 3) They are angry; how could Judas have done what he did? 4) They are confused; I thought he was going to become the king.
And then the word reaches them….they have actually crucified Jesus. The word on the street is that he is dead. How could this have happened? Were we wrong all this time? Did we just waste the past few years following the wrong man? NO! NO! I’m sure that he was and is the Messiah. I don’t understand how this is supposed to work but I know who he is. He is my Messiah!
Saturday is a hard, quiet day. Where do we go from here? The 11 remaining disciples hunker down in quiet contemplation about what this means. They think back over the parables and teaching of the past few years. Were there any clues there that they may have missed?
And then Sunday morning when all hope seemed to be lost, the week took an unexpected and glorious turn. Jesus is alive! The tomb is empty! Mary says she spoke with the Master and she is convinced that he has risen from the dead. Later in the day, Jesus appears to most of the rest of them and they are overjoyed that Jesus is alive!
What a way to end a weeklong roller coaster! It started high and ended high.
Many times we feel like our lives have a lot of ups and downs as well. But rest assured that if you are a follower of Christ and have accepted this amazing gift of Salvation, your life will end the way Holy Week ended….with a resurrection and life eternal with Jesus! We know the end of the story and it makes all the low moments worth enduring. Press on my friend! Press on for the prize that is waiting for you.