Jesus' Holy Week and My Being Holy
So, how holy was your Holy Week? More importantly, how holy are you?
This year, for the first time in a long time, I worshipped on Palm Sunday and then again on Easter Sunday, but in between I did not worship in any services of Holy Week. I did what, as a Pastor, I always encouraged people not to do, and that is to go from celebrating Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem to celebrating Jesus’ triumph over sin, death and the Devil. My Holy Week did not seem so holy as compared to previous practice.
The events of Palm Sunday and Easter are both so necessary and glorious in themselves as regards salvation, but the events in between are of equal necessity. The road for Jesus went down, all the way down in between. The Lord’s Supper and the Lord’s crucifixion were necessary events to celebrate Jesus as the ultimate Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). What is traditionally observed as Holy Week (from Palm Sunday through the Passion of Jesus to the Resurrection) is a package. The celebration of it all testifies that life is not simply from one triumph to another, but necessarily includes pathos and even death along the way. I truly missed observing Jesus’ Holy Week.
But here’s the greater point: Jesus’ Holy Week, all of it – Entry, Supper, Cross, Resurrection - was so that you and I can be holy in any given week. While I truly missed observing the traditional church Holy Week Services, observance of those or any weekly or yearly religious service does not make you or me holy. Because Jesus is holy, you and I are holy. Human holiness is derived from Jesus and His perfect holiness as He demonstrated that glorious Holy Week in 30 AD. There is no other way!
I’m currently in the process of learning and living “holiness from Jesus” like never before. The conduct of Holy Week services, Sunday services, preaching prep, pastoral ministry, and church administration, were just a few “holy observances” in my past that are no more since my retirement. I’m learning anew that my being holy is not in what I have done, do, or will do, but in what Jesus has done, does, and will do for my salvation.
As the Apostle Peter, quoting Isaiah, noted: All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever (Isaiah 40:6-8, 1 Peter 1:24-25). Because the word of the Lord endures forever, there is hope for you and me to get this "being holy thing" right!
...and the journey continues, Jim