I was convicted this morning about my lack of grasp on all of the contents of Holy Week. As I sat back and thought about why, my first thought was to blame my church, where I am paid staff and have a voice in weekly planning meetings. To blame them for not producing Holy Week programs or pamphlets that center me on Christ’s Journey to the cross. But that thought didn't last long before I was humbled by the Spirit redirecting my blame filled eyes to the Bible that sat right in front of me. I was reminded that I have been given all that I need for a righteous life and in this case, intentional living.

     As I opened my Bible it took longer than I would like to admit for me to find the beginning of the Holy Week narrative, but when I found it I was met with the picture of a humble King. As I read about Jesus entering Jerusalem, I was reminded that even though the people were shouting Hosanna, there was no planned parade thrown for this man entering on “the foal of a beast of burden.”  Jesus, the Holy One, did not enter the holy city as royalty would have with pomp and circumstance, but rather he entered as an exalted servant. He entered as one whose humility was easier to see than His majesty

    Once Jesus got into Jerusalem this all began to change. I watched as Jesus, the humbled servant, transformed into a man on a mission. It seems almost as if Jesus was rushing to confront all the evil that He saw; first in the temple, then in the Jewish leaders. His actions in the temple and the parables that he tells to the Jewish leaders feels as if they are all done to purify that which has become filthy. This is what began Holy Week.

    As I sat back trying to readjust the faulty grip that led to this search, I began to internalize all that I had read in Matthew 21 and questions began to flood my mind. What type of purification is the Lord doing in my life? What sins have set up shop in my heart, the very temple of the Lord? How or when have I approached God seeking to justify myself, like the Jewish leaders, believing that my good deeds have made me right before God? 

    Brothers and sisters, my prayer is that you do not wait for Good Friday to begin to celebrate the purifying work of Christ. Join Him now in the narrative; see all that He is doing as he prepares the way to the cross. Pray that by the Spirit your eyes are made open to the truths of the scriptures, that you may truly and anew proclaim that Good Friday is Good.

Grace and Peace

Michael Carlisle