As we continue and move closer and closer to the end of the season of Lent, we move closer and closer to the cross and the empty tomb. We move closer and closer to the last week of Jesus’ life, a week of proclamation and celebration, a week of last moments together, a week of teaching and preparing, a week that would end not with the death on the cross, but with the resurrection and the empty tomb.
Often we want to skip past the week. We want to avoid the pain of betrayal, the chaos of arrest, the agony of the flogging, the blood of the crucifixion. We want to jump from Palm Sunday when we proclaim, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” to the joyous statement of resurrection hope, “The Lord is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed!” Yet, there was a lot that happened in the days between.
Each day of that week Jesus continued to teach and touch the lives of those around him. He ate his last meal with his disciples and tried to prepare them for the end of his time on earth with them. He reached out in love, washed their feet, offered them grace, and then walked the long road that would take him to the place of capital punishment. This is the part of the story that is uncomfortable.
As we reflect on the words from the familiar passage of John 3:16-17, we hear of a great love. We hear of a Heavenly Father that provided the way for us to continue in relationship forever. We hear of why Jesus went through this last week of his life – “so that the world might be saved through him.”
Jesus was condemned and crucified so that we could be free and live. God didn’t want to be separated from us by sentencing us to life without God’s presence. Instead God sent the Son, Jesus, so that we may be freed. Because of this we are able to make the proclamations of Palm Sunday and Easter, but those proclamations would be empty if it weren’t for the journey between.
As Moravians we have a unique way to remember that week. We have the opportunity to gather each day of Holy Week and read about what happened to and with Jesus each day of that week as we read together from the Readings for Holy Week manual. These services remind us of the journey and the choice Jesus made on our behalf. I invite you to join us as we go through this journey each night of Holy Week at 7 p.m.
It will be an opportunity to be touched again by a love beyond measure – a love of eternity.
In Christ’s service,