Today, for Christians around the world, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the days leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Spiritually, Holy Week has always been a special time for me as this week is a high point of much emotion in the life of Jesus, His early followers, and for me. In my personal spiritual journey I try to understand what it was like living in the time of Jesus. I read historical books as well as the Bible in my attempt to more deeply understand and feel the emotions of the people of the time. In my effort for a deeper and closer relationship with God, I immerse myself into the Bible stories, trying to feel what they felt; experience what they experienced. This week, Holy Week, is a recollection of not just an ancient story, but a retelling of real events which happened to real people who lived real emotions, real feelings, and real experiences.
Our challenge this week is to enter into the emotions of the apostles and the bystanders as they experienced the events leading up to the betrayal, arrest, death and later resurrection of Jesus. The emotions of this week begin today, with the joyous celebration of Jesus entering, as a beloved hero, into Jerusalem. Later this week the joyous celebration and exaltation of today becomes the confusion of Thursday as one of their own betrays and hands over Jesus to the Romans to be arrested. Quite quickly the feeling of confusion turns to fear and depression on Friday when Jesus is tortured and later killed as a common criminal. Jesus, for whom they left family and jobs, is now dead, betrayed by one of their own! Three days later comes the bewilderment and hope as news spreads of Jesus' resurrection Sunday morning!
As this week unfolds I will share with you my reflections and feelings of the events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. I invite you to join with me in my spiritual journey this week. Share with us your reflections and emotions as you journey through this holy week.
My challenge for today:
- What can I do to more deeply understand the emotions and reactions of the apostles as they triumphantly enter Jerusalem?
- What can this week teach me about my faith life?
- How do I hope to have my life changed by this exercise of delving into the emotions of the stories of this week?
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