Ever have one of those weeks where your entire life gets flipped upside down? All things seemed to be going in one direction and then all of the sudden, everything changed…
Perhaps it was the first time you found out you were pregnant and all of the sudden there was a whole new life to account for. Or maybe it was a scary diagnosis at the doctor’s office. A job loss out of the blue. Love at first sight. A hurricane breaks the levees. Planes crash into the Twin Towers. OJ leading a parade of police down the interstate…
(I mean, I still remember where I was when Ford Broncos went from being “cool” to “OJ’s mental break-mobile.” Thankfully they are cool again – have you seen the new Broncos? Come on!)
Some change in life is gradual (like trying to lose weight or save for a house). Other changes happen in ways that totally blindside us. Holy Week was one of those special weeks, not just for Jesus and his merry band of followers, but for the entirety of human History.
On Sunday before Passover, Jesus and his krewe are welcomed to Jerusalem with a spectacular parade – as if He were the returning King. People laid palm branches for them as they breached the walls of the city. They even yelled “HOSANNA!” like they understood things were about to change forever. But within just five days the same crowd was demanding He be crucified like a criminal.
Christian singer, songwriter (Mary Did You Know) and comedian Mark Lowry used to joke that life is a series of ups and downs – and Jesus said He gives life more abundantly (meaning BIGGER ups and downs). He’s not wrong. Celebrating Easter is such a whiplash of emotions.
The Triumphant entry (hope)
The Last Supper (confusion)
The Tomb (despair)
and then FINALLY – surreal joy and excitement because of the Resurrection!
I mean … I’m exhausted just reading that list, let alone feeling those feelings. To quote Ronald Weasley, “One person can’t feel all that at once, they’d explode.”
My encouragement for you this week is to take some time to really sit in each of these big emotions as you dwell on Christ’s journey from the cross, to the grave and ultimately His resurrection. Don’t cheapen the experience – really dig in. Weep if you need to. Sing. Dance, even! I believe every time we engage the Gospel we shed a little more of the old and reveal a little more of the New.
Holy Week can be both a celebration of the week Jesus changed the world and also a week in which Jesus changes you.