Dear Friends in Christ,
Today begins Holy Week. Holy Week takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Here are the Main Events:
Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, begins Jesus’ final journey to the cross. On this day the disciples find the colt of a donkey and brought it to Jesus. As he rides into the city of Jerusalem a large crowd spreads their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’” Following Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, he spent Sunday night in Bethany, the village at the foot of Mount of Olives.
On Monday Jesus returns to Jerusalem, He notices a fig tree that is fruitless. Jesus cursed the tree. Then Jesus enters the Temple and begins to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocks over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stops everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace.
On Tuesday the conspiracies to trap Jesus escalate. Israel’s religious leaders have one goal: to get rid of Jesus of Nazareth. If this meant cooperating with a lifelong enemy, any means would be justified. So the Pharisees, who opposed Rome and its intrusion on the Jewish way of life, and the Herodians, supporters of Herod the Great, joined forces. Even the Sadducees, religious liberals, attempted to discredit Jesus. Jesus warns the crowds and disciples about their hypocrisy and the unbelief of their religious leaders.
On Wednesday Judas Iscariot conspires with the religious leaders to betray Jesus. That evening an unnamed woman anoints Jesus’ body with expensive perfume.
On Maundy Thursday Jesus and his disciples gather in the Upper Room for the Last supper. During this meal Jesus predicts what will happen on the next day. Next, Jesus takes bread, blesses it and shares it with them. He takes a cup of wine and gives thanks to God for it and he gives it to them saying, “I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.” Then they sing a hymn and go out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. It is here that Jesus, having been betrayed by Judas, is arrested and taken to several sham trials before the chief priests, Pontius Pilate, and Herod. Pilate tries to compromise with the religious leaders by having Jesus beaten, but this act does not satisfy them, so Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified. Jesus is mocked by the soldiers as they dress Him in a purple robe and a crown of thorns.
On Good Friday morning Jesus is crucified on a Roman cross. The sky turns dark for three hours. Jesus cries out and takes a last breath, surrendering his life into God’s loving arms. As evening approaches, Joseph of Arimathea goes to Pilate and asks for Jesus’ body. Joseph takes Jesus’ body down from the cross, wraps it in a cloth, and lays it in a tomb that has been carved out of the rock. Then he rolls a stone in front of the entrance. Only the women are there to seewhere Jesus’ body is laid.
On Holy Saturday Jesus is sealed in the tomb.
I hope you enjoy the service this morning and plan to join us for our Good Friday service at 7:00 pm here in our Sanctuary.