Holy Week

Those Evangelicals who find ourselves in the “non-liturgical” tradition are free to ignore centuries of liturgy and the observance of the church calendar.  Sure we celebrate Christmas and Easter, but we too easily can ignore or minimize other parts of the church year that can be quite meaningful.  

Holy Week is one part of the church year that is often minimized (or ignored) but one that should be particularly significant to all believers.  We often celebrate the bookends of Holy Week (Palm Sunday and Easter) while ignoring Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  When we fast forward from Palm Sunday to Easter we miss the Last Supper (Matt. 26:17-30), which is one of the church ordinances that we are commanded to observe until He returns. We miss Gethsemane, where Jesus sweat drops of blood as He prepare for what faced him (Luke 22:39-46).  We miss Golgotha, where Christ was crucified (Luke 23:33).  We miss His last words where He asks His Father to forgive those who have crucified Him (Luke 23:34) and the forgiveness of the thief next to Him (Luke 23:42-43).  We miss His caring for His mother Mary (John 19:26).  We miss his cry of desperation “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” (Matt. 27:46)   We miss His thirst, which reminds us that while fully God was fully human. (John 19:28)

We also miss the many, many fulfillments of prophesies of Christ on the cross. This article details them all.

Don’t miss Holy Week. Observe and even celebrate His death, so that you can truly celebrate His resurrection.

7 comments to Holy Week

  • Jules Schieferstein

    Thank you for this post Dr. O. Something I’ve been studying and reflecting upon myself is the suffering that Christ went through for us. I agree that we too often jump straight towards the happy part of this week (Easter), and ignore the hard road that Christ had to take to get there.
    I find great joy in the fact that we do serve and worship a living God, but it’s also incredibly important to remember how much Christ suffered on our behalf. I feel that Isaiah 53 is one of the most powerful chapters in Scripture; explaining to us how He was the Man of Sorrows, and how acquainted with our grief and suffering He truly is. Knowing how intimately and personally Jesus knows our suffering, and what He went through on our behalf makes me love Him so much more deeply each time I think upon it.

  • Brittney Mitchell

    One thing I have noticed about myself in the last few weeks is that I am quick to say “I love you” to those around me, but am somehow hesitant to say “I love you” in reference to Christ.

    Previous to this year, my typical easter celebrations would have consisted of easter sun rise service and easter service. After reading this last week I was convicted in the fact that I have only been previously taking one day out of my year to really celebrate my savior. This year I decided to participate in Holy week events throughout the week and not just sunday. I attended a showing of “Son of God” on wednesday and spent thursday evening participating in a seder meal thursday evening. I was amazed to find that by easter sunday I was already more than excited to celebrate the resurrection and profess my love for my Lord.

    I worry that our society of on-the-go demands has in a way watered down church for some people. With the many things to do, there isn’t time to sit and talk about Christ, and encourage each other in excitement. It seems like, to me, a roast dinner vs. a subway sandwich. A roast dinner takes a long time to prepare and consume where as a subway sandwich is quick to prepare and easy to consume. Both may have what is necessary to satisfy us, but the roast most likely contains the most nutritional value for us. Celebrating Holy Week is like preparing and eating a spiritual roast all week long.

  • Sarah Ingram

    Thank you, Dr. O, for this reminder! I always would like to say I appreciate your comments the past two Sunday’s following Easter. In both services with Jubilate, you pointed out that we should continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Just like we forget about the events during Holy Week, we seem to forget about the fact that Jesus rose from the dead except for one day of the year. Worship is a great opportunity to remind the congregation of this fact!

  • Hayden W Bradley

    One of the things that I have been dealing with and studying is the apathy that we all so easily fall into. I wonder what I could do in my own personal walk with Christ in order to try and limit the lackluster feelings I often have for my faith. I totally agree with Sarah when she said that she has enjoyed the comments you have made about Easter and how we should always be enjoying the resurrection, which is something I have challenged myself to do recently. I do not know the answer to the apathy question, but all I can say is when we remind ourselves on a daily basis of the sacrifice Christ has made for us and the unconditional love that has taken. It is very hard to sit back and do nothing for Him. This comes through songs of praise, praying and being in the word.

  • Kevin

    I often view tradition as old, boring, and repetitive. But, when I stop to think about, I don’t have a logical reason against tradition. I often dismiss lent, but perhaps there is validity to spending a week sacrificing a simple aspect of our lives beyond losing weight. The simple sacrifice can act as a reminder throughout the day of what happened during this week. However, if a tradition ever becomes mundane and repetitive, it becomes just that, a tradition.

  • Rachel E Williams

    I really love the reminder you have given us here. I know I can admit to not paying as much attention as I should to the days and events leading up to Easter Sunday. I think our attention is most called to the “happy thoughts” of Jesus raising to life and conquering death during this time of the year, which is most definitely not a bad thing to observe by any means. But I think that we have to pay just as much attention to what put Jesus in that grave in the first place, and that is the sacrifice He made of himself when he took all of our sins upon himself. He didn’t have to do that for us. There were an infinite amount of easier ways He could of chose to go about saving us, but He chose to suffer on the cross so we wouldn’t have to suffer for eternity. Without that sacrifice, we wouldn’t have the chance of having salvation through His death, burial, and resurrection.