This week the faithful are writing about holy Week - whatever that is. :)
As an Anglican for a few years, we followed a liturgical calendar. I think the biggest difference in focus (not theology) between the evangelicals and those the follow the Roman Catholic calender is the resurrection. The Catholic cross depicts Jesus being crucified, while the evangelical one, shows an empty cross; a sign of the resurrected Jesus. As Christians, we need to understand the sacrifice and the horror of the crucifixion, as well as engaging the power of the resurrection!
My take on Holy week is this, we follow Jesus from the Triumphal Entry through the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane to the cross, and the joy of the empty tomb. On Palm Sunday we cheer the mighty King, and on Good Friday we celebrate his death (in our place) which is like a funeral mass. Then there is the overwhelming joy of Easter!
Each service touches me in a different way as I reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for me. One of the things that I miss the most about my Anglican roots is the stations of the cross. Because the stations of the cross are done on Good Friday, the 15th one is omitted and done on Easter Sunday. Let's take a quick walk through them.
-1 Jesus is condemned to death
-2 Jesus is given his cross
-3 Jesus falls the first time
-4 Jesus meets His Mother
-5 Simon of Cyrene carries Jesus' cross
-6 Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
-7 Jesus falls the second time
-8 Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
-9 Jesus falls the third time
-10 Jesus is stripped of His garments
-11 Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
-12 Jesus dies on the cross
-13 Jesus' body is removed from the cross
-14 Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense and grave cloth.
Holy week was a painful journey for our Lord as he suffered betrayal, humiliation, false judgement, torture and finally death - a death that defeated the sting of death for you and me for all eternity.
What does the death of Jesus mean to you?