“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” (John 12:27)
I remember being 11 or 12 years old sitting in the back seat of the car headed to my grandma’s house for Easter weekend. Over the course of the eight-hour trip, I would open my Bible and follow Jesus through the dusty roads of Jerusalem, trying to figure out the corresponding times of His trials as He walked determinedly to the cross. I imagined myself tagging behind the faithful women who followed Jesus — witnessing the arrest, trials, torture and eventual crucifixion. And of course, I would imagine myself with Mary as she approached the tomb that Sunday morning, stricken with grief, only to become the first person to whom the resurrected Savior would speak.
I wanted to experience it, breathe it, see it.
Friends, remembering and observing Holy Week allows each of us to accompany Jesus on His journey to the cross. While we couldn’t be there physically, the account in Scripture invites us to meditate on the gravity of these somber events. The following are some of the “jewels” I’ve gathered from my meditations on Holy Week.
Our Savior is well-acquainted with sorrow.
Just turn on the evening news for five minutes and you’ll see the utter brokenness of this world. In addition to the world’s troubles, we each have our own heartaches and crushing burdens to bear. What would our Savior, who’s seated in majesty at the right hand of God, know of our suffering?
Because He lived it. And during that week approaching His death, I believe He experienced suffering at an intensity we cannot comprehend.
The Gospels record Jesus saying that His soul was troubled to the point of death as He thought about sacrificing himself for us. He expressed this sorrow and suffering to His disciples when He asked them to stay awake and pray with Him (Matthew 26:38).
Rejection, abandonment, spiritual oppression and physical pain were all experienced by Jesus that Passover week. Our High Priest knows our sorrow because He experienced far worse.
Our Savior deeply loves us.
Our Savior went willingly to His torture and death. He knew He’d die for us. Though His soul was troubled, Jesus was still willing to die for us, calling it His purpose, and even saying, “Father, glorify your name” (John 12:27-28).
It wasn’t easy for Jesus to die on the cross. Yet he did.
Scripture tells us Jesus understood His death was for our benefit. During the Last Supper, Jesus described His body as being broken for us and His blood as being poured out for us. (Luke 22:19-20) He died for us. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Death is a defeated enemy.
Friends, can you imagine the tension when all of heaven and earth held its breath after Jesus was placed in that tomb? That Sunday morning, a divine promise made thousands of years ago was about to be fulfilled.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)
Jesus’ heel had been bruised, but in this moment, He delivered the deadly blow to the serpent’s head. Through His obedient death and subsequent resurrection, Christ disarmed Satan’s power over death, giving life to all who believe in His name.
Death is defeated. Now that is something to celebrate and a reason to shout on Easter Sunday. Fellow believers, let’s take moments during this Holy Week to remember the sacrifice and goodness of our Savior.
Copyright 2018 Tenell Felder. All rights reserved.