CTPress March 23, 2018

An Invitation
Holy Week is upon us.
WARNING: SPOILERS!

Sunday is Palm Sunday, and it begins a journey. Jesus is appropriately welcomed into Jerusalem as a king. The Passover feast is upon the people of Israel, so the whole nation is gathered in and around the city that is home to the temple. The popularity of Jesus has been building steadily and has culminated in the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The people are excited about Jesus,
and when he comes into the city, they enthusiastically worship him.

As the week progresses Jesus teaches, performs miracles and frustrates the Jewish leaders. The opponents of Jesus plot and scheme and find a willing accomplice in Judas, who betrays Jesus after he shares the Passover meal with the disciples. Jesus is then tried, abused, tortured, and then on Friday morning, handed over to Pontius Pilate. Pilate is not immediately sure what to do with Jesus, mostly because he cannot find anything with which to charge Jesus. Pilate turns to the crowd, a crowd that is now convinced that Jesus must die, and so they ask for his execution. Jesus is crucified and buried.

Holy Week is a journey. There is a movement to the many activities and services we plan and participate in. I think there is something to be missed if one worships Palm Sunday and then on Easter, with nothing in between. We can mark this journey by being present in the events planned for the week. Worship on Palm Sunday. Maundy Thursday worship. The Community Cross
Walk, and ecumenical event with singing and teaching that emulates Jesus’ walk to the cross. The Cross Walk is held on Good Friday and begins at Asbury UMC and concludes at Edge Hill Cemetery.

I encourage you to participate in these events as much as you are able. Let the week that begins on Palm Sunday unfold in such a way that you experience a deepening of your faith and a connection to all that Jesus endured so that we could have eternal life.

In addition to the services named above, it may prove helpful to meditate on specific scriptures each day:

  • Sunday – Matthew 21:1-11
  • Monday – Mark 14:1-9
  • Tuesday – Luke 20:19-26
  • Wednesday – John 13:1-20
  • Thursday – Matthew26:32-56
  • Friday and Saturday – Matthew 27

I hope and pray this Holy Week brings you closer to Jesus.

Pastor John