A week that changed everything….
Self-Reliant Group facilitator, Laura Walton, reflects on the story of Holy Week
From celebration to despair, then embarrassment and humiliation. Even though the disciples of Jesus had been told what to expect more than once, the adoration of the crowd , the triumphant faces and them processing through the midst of it, was intoxicating. The guys were lifted high and bathed in the glory of the one they had been following faithfully for 3 years.
So to see him hanging on a cross, his bloody hands and feet no longer spelling victory but defeat, caused them to scatter, to deny they ever even knew him. Their Saviour, their King was no longer able to lead them out of captivity. They were lost.
That brings us to Good Friday, a bleak day where all over the world churches are stripped of any ornamentation and even pictures are turned to face the walls. Services recalling Jesus’ words on the cross, are sombre and reflective and as each person contemplates their own part in that Holy day, intensely sad. Jesus’ disciples had no idea what would happen 3 days after Jesus died on the cross. But over 2000 years since that first resurrection morning, we do.
We know the story of the stone miraculously rolled away from the tomb and the burial cloths where Jesus’ body had lain. We know how their grief turned to joy when they heard the incredible news that Jesus was no longer dead, but alive, walking and talking. He had told them, prepared them for all of this but the reality and the depths of their emotions blurred their grasp on his words and his promises.
In order to know the Easter joy, we need to feel the pain of that Good Friday and to know our part in it. In dying, Jesus was being separated from his Father, for the sake of everyone who mocked and jeered him on that day, together with those who couldn’t bear to watch but couldn’t bear to never see him again. Together with us today and all those people in between. Somehow inexplicably, he was taking what should be our comeuppance for lives lived selfishly and outside of God, on his own outstretched arms as he hung there. As his last breath exited his wounded, blameless body, his followers are granted freedom.
Living forever in close harmony with God is what is promised and what can be delivered because of Jesus on the cross. His death gives us life. We can choose it or not.
We have heard so much bad news this last year. Surely it is time to hear some amazingly good news. Listen, reflect and choose.