This is “Holy Week” or the week of Jesus’ “passion.” Christians are following Jesus through the events of His life on the journey toward the Cross and to His Resurrection. Its a helpful practice to read and reflect on the events of “Holy Week.” Professor Michael J. Wilkins has created a “harmony” of the Gospels for Holy Week and the publishers of the ESV (Crossway) have made it available in an interactive form.
I suggest you read and pray through the texts for each day. Jesus’ disciples followed Him into this week and the Gospel writers gave substantially more script to recording the last week of Jesus’ life in order to capture the significance of His death and resurrection. Set yourself into the very real and human moments of the week in which our Saviour persists in displaying His unity with our Heavenly Father’s plan to forgive sinners and draw them into His love.
When I was preparing for the “Palm Sunday” message I was floored by a little line I have just breezed past for years.
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
In the moments after Jesus cleared the Court of the Gentiles of the temple money changers and merchants it must of been quiet. Jesus began to teach. He declared, “My house will be a house of prayer but you have made it a den of robbers.” As he taught in the quiet, the blind could make their way to Him. As he taught in the spaciousness, the lame could make their way to Him. And in His last public act of healing, Jesus turned outsiders into insiders. These blind and lame could have gone no farther into the Temple Courts. But now after being healed they could. They were no longer second-class citizens. The human realities of their imperfections would no longer preclude them from full participation in the covenant. Wow! The clearing of the Temple and this moment of healing is a prelude to the Cross.
Jesus is going to the Cross in order to prepare the way for our full inclusion in the communion of God. He goes to the Cross in order to fulfill the love and justice of God. He goes to the Cross in order to fulfill the cost of a sinner’s forgiveness. He goes to the Cross in order to heal and include the spiritually blind and lame. He goes on to the Cross in order to heal and include you and me.
Praise the Lord!
I hope you will journey with Jesus through the Holy Week by using the “harmony” of the Gospels for Holy Week. And I pray asking our Heavenly Father to grace you with moments of new insight and awe at His love displayed through the life and death of Jesus.