“The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Holy Week can be hard to handle. Why? Because it’s not about us. Whether we are caught up in the private distractions of pursuing wealth, health and love, or the broader concerns of city, nation and world, we are unendingly trapped in the subjectivity of our own lives. In point of fact, much of what passes itself off as Christianity these days – from the progressive social reformers on the one hand to the moral rearrmament warriors on the other – is little more than religion for self-seekers, bent on the fulfillment of life on their terms.
So, let’s be clear about one thing; Holy Week is about Jesus. Period. End of story. The events that occurred in and around Jerusalem twenty centuries ago were the defining events in human history and that means your little personal history. Everything before or since sounded either the prelude or postlude to the coming of Jesus.
In this last week of His earthly life – prior to the Resurrection – we find Him among the commonplace actions of embittered and disloyal friends, the fickle adoration and then denial of the crowd, the petty cowardice of politicians, the bullying of soldiers until, in the end, He hangs alone, battered and bloody the life wrenched out of Him by self-seekers like us.
If you can get outside yourself just far enough this week to find a church door on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, you just might discover that these things took place for you. And that all life’s pains and pleasures, preoccupations and distractions are nothing, nothing, in comparison to knowing and being known by Jesus. Then the glory of Easter will not be vacuous, empty barking about new life but the message of God’s love and grace that is stronger and more enduring than all our efforts to deny, diminish, trivialize or do away with Him. Then, by God’s grace, out of your mouth may come the ancient words of praise that even now ring in the halls of eternity:
ALL GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST! MAY HIS GLORY BE FORVER!