In the final week leading up to Easter, commonly known as “Passion Week” or “Holy Week”, we walk with Jesus through the final week of his life. It helps us experience both death and resurrection in deeper ways. We hope you will join us each day this week as we head toward resurrection.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” –Heb 12:1-3
As we continue through Holy Week and approach Holy (Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and then Easter – we prepare for the solemn events that lead to the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus. All of Lent has been leading up to this moment – just as all of the signs of Jesus’ life did as well. Especially in the gospel of Mark, we find Jesus’ clear path is to the cross.
These next few days are really important.
Yet as I listen to the prevailing conversations amongst my Christian friends, I am hearing very little about the anticipation of the next few days. If you didn’t know any better, this could be any other week of the year.
But it isn’t. This is Holy Week.
Listen to the conversations we hear in Christian circles. Do you hear whispers of the sacrifice of Jesus? Is the mood growing solemn and respectful as we prepare for the most difficult part of the story of Jesus over the next few days?
Are we anticipating the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus? Is anyone even talking about this?
Not as far as I can tell.
The prevailing conversations this week revolve around political issues such as gay marriage, homosexuality as a sin, and what God thinks about it.
Instead of words of encouragement to each other about what our savior went through for us, we take up arms along political and social “lines in the sand” in the name of the very savior who is about to pass us by with a cross on his shoulders.
As we bicker, fight, and tear each other down over choices the Empire is making about social issues, we are missing it. In the midst of Christians calling out other Christians online, making judgments about each other’s motives based upon a glance upon 140 characters, the savior of the world is about to tear the curtain in two allowing us to have a relationship with God.
I’m not trying to minimize the issues at hand in gay marriage, homosexuality, and gender equality. These are important issues. I have friends on both sides of this debate that I really love. Each week I meet with students who are struggling with the issue of homosexuality and are trying to make sense of it in an highly sexualized society. It isn’t easy for any of us, really.
But, what if we put that aside for the next few days? What would it look like if we laid down the harsh words and opinions about our differences and paid attention to the final days of Jesus? How would we be changed if we walked with Jesus through his death and celebrated resurrection with him on Sunday?
Then, we return to our positions with new eyes. We have witnessed the greatest sacrifice of all and death was defeated. How would we look at the world differently?
Maybe today we should pay better attention so we don’t miss the most important thing.