Holy Week is a great time of the year because we get to focus on all of the events leading up to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is an opportunity to prayerfully slow down as the Church reflects on the Cross and the empty tomb.
Every Sunday of the year the Church celebrates the Good News of Jesus Christ in church services. Sometimes there are special feast days but normally we remember the Lord’s supper, his death and resurrection in one short service. Yet in Holy Week we have the opportunity to take an entire week to reflect deeply on each part of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What are the key parts of Holy Week?
- Holy Thursday – this is where we remember the institution of the Lord’s Supper. In the Lords Supper we see Jesus giving his body and blood to the Church as a sacramental sign of his death and resurrection.
- Washing of the Feet – this symbolic act of lowering oneself to the position of a servant to wash someone’s feet shows us that Jesus humbled himself to serve humanity rather than claim the privileges that a King deserves.
- Good Friday – this is the chance for us focus on the Cross and the atoning sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins. We can let the full weight of this sacrifice rest on us as we realise that the price has been paid for our sins.
- Holy Saturday – this day represents the time between the Cross and the Resurrection, which also reminds us that the Kingdom of God is both here and yet to come.
- Easter Sunday – without the Resurrection the Cross has no meaning; this is the high point of Holy Week. We should come to Easter Sunday with great joy because our God is faithful.
I really love Holy Week, some of the most spiritual moments in my life have occurred in Holy Week. The best sermons I have ever heard were preached on Good Friday and Easter Sunday in 2009. Holy Week will be a deeply spiritual week if you see it as a special occasion and not just another ordinary week.
To help you get the most out of your Holy Week here are a few thoughts:
- Focus on Jesus – it is not just about attending services, the services are meant to draw you deeper into a relationship with Jesus.
- Try to get to everything – this is one week in the year where you should make an effort to get to more church services than just the Sunday service.
- Have some quiet time – normally church should be a place where we connect with people, talk to visitors and welcome new people. However during Holy Week give yourself and others some quiet time. Let people sit in quiet prayer to reflect on what the Gospel of Jesus Christ means to them.
There are some denominations and churches that don’t do Holy Week because they live in the Post Easter period and theologically I acknowledge that. However I think we can always be reminded of the significance of the various events leading up the empty tomb on Easter Sunday. My hope and prayer is that you allow God to speak to you this Holy Week as you reflect on the Good News of Jesus Christ.
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