Tonight in our Little Big church service, we looked at the most important week in history, Holy Week, the last week of Jesus’s life. Proportionally, this was a tiny part of His life on earth (0.00058%), but its importance is reflected in the amount of time the gospel writers give it (Luke’s Gospel devotes 5 out of 24 chapters to it whilst John’s Gospel has 10 out of 21 chapters narrating the events of that week.)
The week began with Palm Sunday, Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem… on a donkey?! Clearly this fulfilled prophecy (Zech 9:9) and was a reminder that God’s Messiah would not do things the way the people expected.
What did Jesus do during His last week on earth? He visited friends such as Lazarus, Mary and Martha and also spent much time teaching His disciples. He even washed their feet during this week, another reminder that the path to greatness lies in serving others. One of the most memorable things He did was share that Last Supper with them, plainly teaching that the bread and the wine represented His body and blood.
We see Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, asking the Father for another way but ultimately praying, ‘Your will, not mine, be done.’ We see His arrest, His disciples running away in fear, Peter’s denial (which He had predicted.) We see the trial of Jesus, the endless plots which found Him guilty even though He was innocent. We see Jesus beaten and flogged, forced to carry the cross to Golgotha; we see how even on the cross, He offered forgiveness to all (Luke 23:24) and granted salvation to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43). He thought about His mother, giving John the job of looking after her, and when the time was right, He gave up His spirit with the cry, ‘It is finished!’ (John 19:30)
If the week had ended there, it would have been a tragic story of injustice and evil planning, but the week does not end on the Friday. Instead, there is hope of eternal life and salvation because Jesus was raised from the dead. Easter Sunday is the glorious consummation of God’s plan of salvation; because He lives, we can now live too!