It's Holy Week 2012. This is a vitally important week every year for born again Christians. Holy Week should set the tone for every other week of the year. This week encompasses the core of Christian belief. Everything in the Old Testament and the majority of the Gospels is aimed at this week. Everything else in the New Testament flows from this week. Holy Week stands as the central point in the space time continuum in the life of a Christian.
Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday was named for the triumphal entrance of Jesus as He came into Jerusalem just five days before He would be arrested, tried, killed and buried. The reason we call it Palm Sunday is because the people in Jerusalem welcomed Jesus by waving palm branches as He rode in humbly on the back of a donkey. Palm branches were symbols of peace. It was a prophetic sign that Jesus was coming as the great Peacemaker.
In my reflection of this account (which can be found in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-44 & John 12:12-18), Jesus ushered in the peace of God in a way that we would not naturally expect. What Jesus did on Palm Sunday became a snapshot of Jesus' character, which is the outline for our personal character development.
1. Jesus came humbly. Jesus never fails to show us that the way of God's Kingdom comes through humility. The donkey was a dramatic statement of humility in contrast to the leaders and warriors of the day who preferred the image of power that comes with riding in on a mighty horse. Jesus preferred the humble approach. This week, as we journey through Holy Week, may we embrace the humility of Jesus. May we recognize that peace with God does not come by our striving but through our surrender. The only glory we have is what we find when we are hidden in Him. Jesus modeled willing surrender to accomplish the will of the Father.
2. Jesus was no victim. Jesus clearly states in John 10:18 that "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord..." Jesus was NOT a victim. He was a willing sacrifice. He entered into Jerusalem victorious. When Jesus showed up, the promise was as good as done. Holy Week starts with the atmosphere of victory as if Jesus wanted us to keep victory in mind all week.
3. Jesus was "Hosanna" in real time. "Hosanna" means "Lord, save now." The people, palm branches in hand, could not have known the truth in their praise that "Hosanna" was happening in front of their eyes. The entry of Jesus was the actual event of Jesus coming to save. The cry of God's people for generations answered in that moment. This is the hope we breathe in during Holy Week. Jesus did come. He did save. And hope is offered to the world through the Good News of the Gospel that sinners have been given their Savior. Hosanna!
I encourage you to pray and welcome God to work in your life this Holy Week. He is eager to recreate His peace in your life.
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