As we all know, we are nearing Easter and this is a time we tend to be pretty familiar with. Thinking about this time of year, it feels important to highlight the best news we’ve ever been given, and explain why it is so.
We know Jesus rose on the third day, and we know what that means for us, but often we may forget the significance of that, along with the rest of the week leading up to Easter. It’s pretty interesting to look at the entirety of Holy Week and see the history, and learn a little more about why things happened the way and in the order they did. I encourage you to read the gospel account of this week. In Matthew reading chapters 21-28, or Mark 11-16 will cover a lot of it, but there are other accounts of these days written that give more insight if you’ve got the time.
Read along to see some of what the week looked like, if you didn’t know. If you did, reading through this now is a good time to reflect on the work and sacrifice of Jesus.
As we look through the days we start with Sunday, and we see Jesus enter Jerusalem with the city welcoming him and shouting “Hosanna”… which shows some irony as we know how the story goes later. Regardless, we see Palm Sunday as the start to the Holy week, and the time where Jerusalem welcomed him as they would a King for all that they had heard he had done.
Monday and Tuesday, Jesus goes out to teach. With some authority at that. He is asked questions about right and wrong, and quickly he sensed the deceptiveness of the Pharisees and calls them out for their own sins. We see Jesus excercizing his authority, and this can be seen as a turning point.
Wednesday we read about a story many of us have heard, where Mary pours her extremely expensive perfume on Jesus, representing her giving Him everything she has. This is an important piece of the story, as it is representitive of many things. Her sacrifice, and the perfume was preparing Jesus for what was to come, his burial.
Thursday is another familier piece of scripture, The Last Supper. Jesus sits down with his disciples, and washes their feet. This represents Jesus’ act to make them clean, which would all make sense following. The passover cup and bread are shown, which once represented the deliverence of God from Egypt, but now represent the deliverence of us from God because of our sin against him. The bread His body, and the cup His blood. Soon after, Jesus goes into the garden to pray. He is praying, but he is also waiting. He knows what is to come.
Late Thurdsay, and early Friday, Jesus is arrested, his disciples abandoned and betrayed him, and he is taken to trial and the decision is made to execute him. A far cry from the welcome Jesus recieved earlier that same week. They put him on the cross, where Jesus chose to become the sacrifice for us. This is and will be the greatest act of love we will ever see. This is a huge deal, not only did Jesus allow this, but God sent his only one son to do this. How hard would this be, either way? To give up your own life, or to give the life of your only child? This is just even more of a picture of how much the love of God is shown through this sacrifice. A sacrifice for us.
Following the crucifiction, there is not a lot said about the Saturday between. What did this look like? We know those who were close to Jesus were devestated, many were in disbelief for many reasons. The man who was supposed to be savior was now dead… this was hard to wrap their minds around. However, for others they remembered what Jesus had said, and I can imagine they knew something wasn’t quite normal about this.
On Sunday morning, Jesus’ friends set out to take care of his body, but when they arrived they were greeted by an angel saying “He is Risen”. Jesus did not come to die, but He came that he would die and then be raised back to life. This is the important part, that He is capable to defeat sin and death. Because of this, we rejoice! He did this for all of us.
This is the message we celebrate, the gospel that we base our live on and what we want to share from here at camp. We love you, and pray the importance of Easter isn’t lost in all that comes with it. Read the scripture, dive into the good news that we have now because of the sacrifice of Jesus.