Holy Week is upon us! Throughout this week of remembrance, let us journey with Jesus, considering all the highs and lows of this last week of His earthly life. Let us rejoice with Him in the triumph and weep with Him in the sorrow. Above all, let us never forget the price He paid to set us free! All hail the power of Jesus’ Name!
They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!”
John 12:13 – NIV
Have you ever had a parade held in your honor? Have you ever sat proudly in the back of a convertible waving to an adoring crowd as you rolled slowly down the street? I have not had that experience. I doubt that many of us have. But Jesus did.
On that final week of His life, Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. He rode not in the backseat of a convertible, but on the back of a borrowed donkey. The street was mnot paved with asphalt,but covered in the cloaks shed by onlookers to make a royal processional for their much heralded Messiah. There was joy in that crowd. Palm branches waved in the wind as excited onlookers shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord!”
I wonder what Jesus was thinking as He made His way down that cloak covered street. Was He able to enjoy the adoring crowd? Did He feel honored by the praise, revered by their worship? Could He enjoy that moment knowing what would come later?
Think about it. Imagine what it would feel like to be the hero of a parade. For most of us, that would be the pinnacle of achievement. What was it for Jesus? Could He reside in the moment, cherishing the shouts of the joy-filled crowd, or was His mind already making its way to the cross?
Could He treasure the height of that moment? Did His soul soar high, floating among the puffy white clouds? Could He linger in that exultant moment, or did He let the sorrow slowly seep in? For surely, deep within His soul, the sorrow had to be there. He knew what was coming. He knew the pending betrayal, the coming persecution, the gut-wrenching abandonment.
Still, Jesus rode on, chin up, back straight, facing forward. I imagine Him greeting His exuberant supporters with that gentle smile of His. I can envision His soft eyes searching the crowd, lingering on each upturned face, holding their gaze for that extra second, touching their souls just as He still touches ours.
For Jesus, that moment held the pinnacle of joy, and still, He could not escape the coming sorrow. Of all the insights we can glean from the events of Holy Week, perhaps the mingling of joy and sorrow offers one of the most comforting epiphanies for me. Jesus understood what it was like to live high in the sky, joyful and reveling in all the beauty of this life. He also understood suffering. He knew the depths of sorrow. He dwelt in the pit of despair.
You and I know tremendous joy in this earthly life, but we also know tremendous sorrow. Quite often, the two mix and mingle, with moments of joy interspersed in times of sorrow. It gives me great comfort to know that Jesus understood these conflicting emotions. He understood how joy and sorrow can live within sight of each other. He traveled that road covered in colorful cloaks, palm branches waving, the “Hosannas” reaching His ears. A few days later, He climbed the hill to Calvary.
Jesus didn’t promise us a trouble-free life. He didn’t have one, so why should we? His journey was filled with trouble, and yet, He knew the heights of joy. Like us, Jesus relished those happy moments. He also knew the depths of despair, and He endured them just as we must.
We want life to be easy, full of joy and beauty. But it wasn’t always like that for Jesus, and it won’t always be like that for us. We must accept the sorrow without bitterness, and treasure
the joyful moments with thankful hearts.
Jesus weathered the highs andlows of this life, and He understands our trials and conflicting emotions. He faced His trials alone, but we don’t have to. He walks with us down both the hard and happy roads, never leaving nor forsaking us. Furthermore, His climb toward Calvary secured our salvation. His sacrifice opened the gates of eternity to you and me.
Out of the sorrow of the cross came the hope of heaven. Joy rose from the ashes of despair. that, my friends, is cause for cheers and celebration! that, my friends, is reason for joy! So rise up and join the never-ending parade! Rise up and sing with those worshippers of long ago, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord!”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 – NIV
O Lord Jesus, thank You for knowing us, for understanding our frailties and loving us anyway. You know what it is to suffer, and You know what it is to rejoice. You endured the pain, bore the blame, suffered the shame, all so that we might dwell in eternity with You. You couldn’t bear heaven without us, and so You sacrificed Yourself to save us. Oh, what reason to rejoice! Oh, what a glorious reason to sing Your praises today and forevermore! Lord Jesus, rejoice with us in our seasons of joy. Strengthen us to bear our seasons of sorrow just as You bore the weight of the cross. We know that we do not walk this road of life alone, for You, O Lord, are always with us, now and forevermore. All glory, honor, majesty, and praise to You our King!
In Your Glorious and Holy Name, we pray,
Holy Week Blessings,