Passion Week

In light of this week before Resurrection Sunday commonly known as Passion Week, we see the culmination of Jesus’ earthly ministry and begins His journey to the cross. The week begins with His Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem on the back of a donkey fulfilling prophecy. The crowds greeted him as a returning king who has conquered lands by laying down palm leaves in front of Him chanting, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” [Matthew 21:9b]. From there we go to the upper room where He washes the disciples’ feet and institutes the Lord’s Supper. Judas leaves to betray Jesus. They then journey to the Garden of Gethsemane where the disciples cannot stay awake, and Jesus asks His Father to take this burden. Jesus submits, “not my will, but thine, be done” [Luke 22:42b]. Then Judas, with soldiers and priests, arrives and betrays Him with a kiss. After Peter cuts off a guard’s ear with his sword, Christ heals it before he is hauled away to an all-night mock trial with phony witnesses and a stacked jury. Pilate tries to give Him freedom, but the crowd cries for the freeing of a murder. Then this innocent Lamb of God is beaten, whipped, cursed, and spat upon before being condemned to die on a cross. He was then nailed to that cross and mocked by the criminals on each side of Him before one asked for forgiveness. Jesus, dying and in mortal anguish, forgave this man and saved him. Christ then said “it is finished…and gave up the ghost” [John 19:30]. They took Him down and buried Him in a borrowed tomb. They put guards around the tomb so no one could steal the body, but when the sun rose on that Sunday morning, Jesus was no longer in that grave. He was Risen! He had paid the penalty for the wages of sin. This week of passion, I believe, is aptly named because it was a week of passion and emotions from triumphant, to defeated, to overjoyed. Let’s not forget what this week is about. It is not about chocolate eggs and bunnies but the resurrection of our Savior who is risen and waits for His children to join Him in Heaven one day.

By Pastor Wesley Woodard