By Cindy Goding
Holy Week is the time when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to Easter. It can be hard to stay focused on Christ and be intentional about Holy Week when our attention is being pulled elsewhere. Life can feel busy as we make the dinner plans for family, it can get distracted by pulling together Easter baskets for kids, our vision can become cloudy as we are thinking too hard about the outfits we will wear. Truthfully, it can be hard to keep our gaze on Christ, and wanting to remember this time and take note of Holy Week when our lives feel so very ordinary, distracting, and seemingly anything else BUT holy.
So how do we prepare our hearts? How do we fix our gaze? How do we intentionally sit in this week and the significance behind each day? I encourage you to read through part of the gospels that focus on this week-long journey that Jesus took.To take note what was said, what was done, and where Jesus went and what he did. I encourage you to read intently what was spoken, how he interacted with others during this week, and how he interacted with God.
I think about Palm Sunday, the start of the end of Jesus’ journey here on earth. I can’t imagine the emotions that were being felt during this time as Jesus entered Jerusalem. Were the disciples caught up in the excitement of the crowds as Jesus is welcomed with a kingly procession? Or were they feeling dread or sadness as they began to understand the finality behind Jesus’ words that he will be crucified and killed? How did Jesus feel as he started the last part of his journey? Were the crowds surprised as their Messiah, their king, their Lord entered the holy city on a little colt instead of a chariot or impressive horse? Were the religious leaders anxious or furious about the arrival of Jesus, the “so called” Messiah?
I think about the last teachings that he spoke to his disciples and others around him. Was there urgency or pleading in his voice as he talks about his second coming, about the time of judgment, as he wants those he loves to understand the message behind his words? What was his demeanor at the last Passover feast that he had with his disciples knowing that Judas was in the midst? Were Peter, James, and John taken aback or fearful when they saw Jesus so troubled as they went to Gethsemane to pray? Yes, Jesus was fully God, but he was also fully human. So was he counting the hours, the minutes, the seconds as each day passed? He knew what the end of the journey meant, he knew the weight of what was about to happen.
So as we enter Holy Week, sit in this, reflect on this, remember to adjust your gaze from your normal, everyday, ordinary life, to Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”