When you hear the phrase Holy Week, what comes to mind? You might think it is the week leading up to Easter Sunday, and you would be correct, but do you celebrate in any special way through the week? If you are like me, you may only have heard of or attended a Good Friday service, but that’s about it, right? Growing up, my mom occasionally reminded me of Maundy Thursday, but we never did anything special or attended a service commemorating the Last Supper, but as an adult I’ve attended a Passover Seder meal in the Jewish tradition, which has a lot of symbolism related to the Jewish exodus from Egypt. I think there is also some foreshadowing of what Jesus would do though the traditions as well, especially in the form of the afikoman, which is bread broken into pieces and hidden, then brought back at the end. There are several ways to enrich our experience and significance of what Jesus did though the week leading up to Easter if we choose to look more thoroughly.
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40
When I was growing up, our family would occasionally attend a Good Friday service, which was somewhat unique and had a more somber tone to it. I also recall singing a hymn called Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted that I only remember ever singing at that specific service. The service ended with a loud knock for the closing of the tomb and we walked out in silence, so a bit different and a contrast to the Easter service, but I still remember it decades later. Then Easter Sunday was always full of Lilies and bright excitement of the hope we have in the resurrected Jesus. In recent years, we have hidden and done resurrection eggs with our children, which also gives them physical items which symbolize what Jesus did through the week as well. What traditions or items do you recall that give meaning to the significance of Jesus in your life?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
I always noted the contrast from Easter Sunday to the rest of the ‘normal’ weeks throughout the church year, aside from maybe Christmas. He is risen, He is risen indeed! Another contrast has been brought up in how some churchgoers act on Sunday compared to the rest of the week. It has developed into an opportunity to speak and act ‘proper’ for a couple of hours on Sunday and to live like hell, or as you like the rest of the week. This doesn’t typify everyone, but it does for some. Do we have the same joy in the risen Jesus on Easter as through the rest of the year, and each day of the work week? We may not have all the same reminders as we do at church on Easter Sunday, but if we have a regular routine of being in the Word and spending time communicating through prayer, those reminders are with us even to a greater level than we may know. May you find traditions and put meaningful things into practice in your life that give you hope and joy in Christ each and every day of your life!
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” Luke 24:1-7
Yours in Christ,