the week that changed the world

The Story schedule was designed so that chapter 27 falls on Easter (Resurrection) Sunday.  This week’s chapter precedes and culminates on Palm Sunday.  But the content of the chapter ranges from the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday through the crucifixion.  Obviously, then, it covers a great deal of crucial Scripture.  All of it is important.  Most of it is somewhat familiar.  As the holiest of all our Christian holidays, this week has often been eclipsed by the commercialism of Christmas.  Yet, without the events leading up to Easter ever occurring, Scripture says our faith is in vain.  Only a few church bodies today have continued to observe the holy week traditions which include Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, while many evangelical church bodies have foregone the traditional observances and skipped right to Easter morning.  Perhaps we have “thrown the baby out with the bathwater” in this case. Should we not try to make the familiar stories of Palm Sunday and Holy Week, come alive for us every year? How do we not let the familiar become forgettable?

Some people would tell you that we only celebrate Jesus resurrection because that is what he is, alive. They say there is no benefit in lingering on his death. But, it is in his death that we see our own. We see our sin being put to death and our lives are tied directly into the work that only Jesus could do. It reminds me of who I am and where my identity lies; not as a sinner without hope, but as a forgiven child of the almighty God. There is no greater assurance than that. Next week as holy week is once more observed, take the opportunity to see the familiar, to look at it with new eyes and hear it with new ears, to see and experience God’s grace once more just for you!

What will you do this year to help see this familiar story in a real way? What have you done in the past that has helped you before? If Holy Week was never a part of your observance, how can you incorporate that into your experience this year?