Posted by: Veroni Kruger | March 31, 2021

You and Holy Week

We have just celebrated Palm Sunday (see my previous post).  Now we are in what is called “Holy Week”, the week that approached the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.    

A.        HOLY WEEK IS ALL ABOUT JESUS

Some people think it’s all about us – our sin: the power of it, to have caused the death of Jesus.  Of course our sin played a role in it, but it wasn’t the major theme.  To make our sin the major theme, can lead, in a perverted form, to the glorification of our sin.  That, in turn, serves to glorify our flesh.

In the events of Holy Week, Jesus is the main actor:

  • He arranges the procession into Jerusalem with the instructions to his disciples to fetch the donkey
  • He curses the barren fig tree and makes it wither
  • He cleanses the temple
  • He teaches fearlessly in the temple
  • He is the centre of attention when He is anointed at the banquet in Bethany
  • He hosts the Last Supper
  • He comforts his disciples
  • He struggles in Gethsemane, while the disciples are sleeping
  • In the midst of the excitement of the raucous celebration of people welcoming Him to Jerusalem, He weeps over the city.
  • He lays down his life of his own accord, and takes it up again – John 10.17 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

He is not the victim of our sin, he is the Initiator and Perfector of our redemption.

Holy Week is all about Jesus:  

  • His love for us – that he died for our sins.
  • His strength – to resist the power of the Jews, of Rome, and of Satan.  
  • His revelation as the Son of God
  • His death and his resurrection

B.        THE PARTICIPANTS

If the few days between Palm Sunday and Easter (someone referred to these days as “seven days without sunlight”) were considered as a democratic process, Jesus lost the elections:

*          His own disciples were unable to support Him in Gethsemane.

*          Judas betrayed him.

*          All the others ran away, deserting Him – one even ran away naked in his haste to get away from the embarrassment and danger of being associated with Jesus.

*          Peter denied even knowing Him.

*          His own people delivered Him to be crucified, preferring a criminal above Him.

*          The (puppet) king of the Jews (Herod, the antithesis of Jesus, true King of the Jews) selfishly sought a miracle from Him and then gave up on Him when Jesus did not oblige.

*          The political and judicial authority of the day (Pilate, Roman governor) made a rather feeble effort to save Him, and then gave in to the demands of the ecclesiastical authorities to have Him crucified. 

*          Creation:  The sun was darkened.  Mere personification?  I think not.  In a manner we cannot comprehend, creation acknowledges the position of Christ:

The sun became dark when He was crucified

There was an earthquake when He rose again – Matt 28.2

*          In the end, everyone turned away from Him.

Luke 23.48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 

There is another process apparent which is faithful to reality:

*          When everybody deserted Him, a few “who knew him”, stayed with Him.

Luke 23.49 “But all those who knew Him, including the women who had followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”

Matthew adds some more information:

Matt 27.55 “Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”

C.        THE EVENTS OF HOLY WEEK DEMANDED A CHOICE

Jesus always demands a decision, and this became even more important as the dramatic events around his crucifixion unfolded.

Everyone deserted Him!  The crowds who had celebrated his entry into Jerusalem, and even his disciples.   

When all deserted Him, Luke 23.49 says there were only few that stood with Him.  It is important that Luke mentions the fact that the few “were all those who knew Him.”  That may be the key to their perseverance:  That they were in a personal relationship with Jesus.

This week again, as we celebrate Holy Week, Jesus demands a decision.

Do you know Him?


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Alexander F. Venter

Live a life of love just as Jesus loved us...

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Martha Elizabeth Kruger

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