Reflecting Upon Holy Week

What a testament the death and resurrection of Christ are to the intentional love He has for those whom He has called. As we move forward from Easter and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection I cannot help but reflect upon all that led up to this moment. Furthermore, my mind is shattered to think of all the emotions that our Saviour, who is fully human, was experiencing fulfilling His calling, and how we, though different, experience similar struggles.

So what did Christ go through? During Holy Week our family read and discussed the events of the week from The Biggest Story Bible. It took us through Palm Sunday and Jesus’s undeniable kingship. We discussed how the wrong heart motivations and actions in relation to worship greave and anger God, and can be seen in Jesus turning over tables in the temple. We reflected on the priceless worth of Christ in Mary’s display of washing Jesus’s feet with expensive oil. At the Last Supper we sense Jesus’s heavy heart as He prepared himself to be betrayed. This betrayal was played out in the inability of the disciples to stay awake, Judas’s love of money over Christ, and Peter’s fear of man more than love of Christ. We were saddened by Christ’s death and understanding the anguish of having God the Father forsake and punish Him. Then we experienced the joy and excitement of Christ’s resurrection and with the disciples the small doubt of, “Could this really be true?”
Jesus went through a lot, but humbly submitted himself to the will of the Father. If we zoom in to prayer in the garden we catch a glimpse of just how much Christ wrestled with fulfilling the will of the Father. Luke tells us in chapter 22 and verses 41-44,
“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Christ, while not weak in his faith, struggled with the task before Him, and yet submitted to the Father’s will with hope of what he knew to come.

I say all this to bring to attention that we at times struggle with what the Lord wills. We have moments of weak faith and struggle to see the hope that is set before us. This is why we must look to Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith, fixing our eye upon Him to guide us through our moments of weakness. What we must remember above all is that our faith comes from Christ. Only our nearness to Him will alleviate our doubts and our fears. This is why Christ went and prayed in the garden. Christ knew that when we wrestle with what the Father has laid before us. Then we go to the Father to work through it. When we do, Christ as mediator, takes our petitions to Him and the Spirit reminds us of all the fulfilled promises of Christ. We are reminded of the cross and the grace bestowed to us because of it. The Spirit reminds us that we are new creatures and the sin and shame of the past are gone and forgotten. We are comforted by the reminder that we do not have to work for His love, but that it is freely given and never removed.
The Easter season often creates a mountain top experience, but growing Christians know that valleys come. I pray that if you are in a valley or when you go through one, you hold to these truths and cling to the cross. Know that you have a saviour who understands, who is near to you, and who loves you.

I will close with lyrics from one of my favorite hymns that reminds me of my need for Christ and his righteousness.

To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
where his glory forever I'll share
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

Austin Strange