Holy Week-Christ's Passion Remembered
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. This day marks the beginning of Holy Week, when the church remembers the events which occurred in the final days of Christ's life, his death, and his resurrection. Traditionally, Baptists have placed a great deal of focus on Easter, celebrating the glorified Christ, risen from the dead. However, the other events of the week, the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, and Good Friday are quite significant in our understanding and appreciation of Christ's completed work on Earth.
Much like the turning on bright lights after a long night's sleep, the resurrection of Christ shines all the more brightly when contrasted with the emotional highs and lows which immediately preceded it. Considering that Christ knew what lay ahead casts a shadow over the shouts of "Hosanna". It underscores His words in the upper room as He symbolized His body and blood with bread and wine. It drives home the need for obedience to the Father's will as He wrestled His own emotions in the garden. It provides meaning and perspective to the senseless beating and killing of the only sinless person to ever walk the Earth. Christ understood these things and in His final words He expresses the Father's satisfaction that the work He came to accomplish was finished.
This Sunday, the choir will present "The Power of the Cross". This 35 minute work will tell the story of Holy Week. I urge you to allow the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart for this special time of worship. Come with anticipation. Expect to experience the power of the Living God as we remember and celebrate His great love and amazing grace. Plan to be present on Good Friday for Tenebrae (service of shadows), and grieve His suffering for your sins. Then, return Easter Sunday to worship the exalted Christ!
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Suffering Servant
53 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.