Monday, April 2, 2012

Live Oak Lenten Journey - Tuesday, Post #6

I love Holy Week. (And yes, I get some wierd looks when I say that out loud.) It is my favorite week in the church year. I know not many people outside of the Roman Catholic tradition really 'get into' Lent and Holy Week, but I think the people who don't are missing out.

This is the week we follow Jesus from the heights of his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the agony of the cross and subsequently, to the joy of Easter morning.

There is no other time of the year that I feel my sin so greatly as I do on Good Friday. I recognize most clearly on this day that Jesus was crucified because of me. There is also no other time of the year that I recognize God's mercy as fully as I do on Easter morning when we celebrate Christ's resurrection.

Because, as Protestants, we focus so much on the risen Lord (no Jesus on our crosses) and the mercy we receive because of Christ's death and resurrection, I often think we too easily forget how costly that mercy really was.

This year, instead of moving straight from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, I encourage you to follow Jesus' journey to the cross. Sit with the disciples as they experience what turns out to be the "last supper" with Jesus explaining to them the sacrifice he will make on behalf of all humanity. Feel the power of Jesus as he willingly gives up his life for us. Know that the reason Jesus had to hang on that cross was because of you and me. Consider the sacrifice that Jesus made for you because he loves you so much.

Finally, rejoice on Sunday morning with the disciples as they discover that their Lord is not dead after all, but has risen, incomprehensibly, like he said he would.

This is, indeed, a Holy Week. Take the time to experience the journey.

Chesney Szaniszlo