Holy Week: A Lesson for Today’s Times

As Holy Week dawns, I find that the events of 2,000 years ago can speak to us today. In the wake of this plague, we need Jesus even more.

Palm Sunday brought cheering crowds rallying to the mission and ministry of this radical man Jesus. They were one voice. They thought they understood what this Messiah would do. They were wrong.

At the start of this pandemic, people organized, planned and were sure that we could beat this and that we could control the spread. Be strong. Wash your hands. We got this. We were wrong. 

Maundy Thursday brought the beleaguered band of followers into an upper room to remember another great time of persecution, uncertainty and death. Remembering brought comfort. It was through the traditions and rites that they had recited for generations that they slowed their heartbeats and calmed their nerves. They prayed. They sang. And then it truly began.

Some are locking down. Some are sheltering in place. Many are lighting candles and singing hymns. We are having to remember the old ways of doing things. Sitting down to meals. Taking walks. Putting puzzles together. Reading. Finding a little peace to comfort these anxious times. 

Good Friday is dark. Death. Emptiness. Sorrow. They didn’t want to go to Golgotha. They wanted to stay in their upper room. They choked on the violence and questioned God. They questioned.

There is always going to be death, but this virus is also tripping off fear and mistrust, much like those early believers must have known. Yet, it is also letting us see who shows up. We are finding unlikely heroes like grocers and garbage collectors. Sitting in the dark of loneliness and isolation is like sitting in a tomb. We will know grief. Not only from lost economy and market, but we will surely be touched by physical death. We are never alone. God never leaves us and Jesus takes us home. 

Holy Saturday is silent. They waited. They observed their Laws. They didn’t work. They just waited with God.

We wait. We will observe the restrictions on our movement and some of us will not work. We wait with God. 

Easter is truly a new day. Sorrow gives way to hope. Jesus appears and gives peace. We are saved.

Easter