“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Romans 6 v. 4
As I consider the meaning of this week, it is essential to reflect on its significance to me, my close friends, and our families. At church on Sunday, the first emphasis was on the writings of Matthew 21 vv. 1-10, which discusses Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. An important reminder on this Holy Week.
Since I joined this church, our lead pastor has led us through Romans as he exposits this chapter verse-by-verse. He may exposit different verses from other chapters, depending on world events, but he has mainly shared on Romans. I now know that the church has studied Romans for over three years.
In carefully and strategically created Sunday school programs, as a congregation, we get to dive into other verses in the Bible as well, to strive to handle every issue from Biblical perspectives and nothing else. Considering all the world continues to hurl at us! This practice is such a refreshing and welcomed format.
To deepen the bond and thoughts surrounding what’s before us, on Monday morning, I opened an email from a dear friend—an email she sent to several women in our Christian circle. It was a reminder of what happened at the time Matthew wrote about and why what transpired should be deeply embedded in our hearts. Additionally, there were Bible verses and a sweet quote from Eleanor Hull.
Our experiences as Christians are dynamic and challenging, but Jesus helps us along the way. And as Christians, we may question what happened during this week as we deal with self-developed doubts or unbelief inspired by the words and antics of some. But no matter where or what we have done, Christ Jesus will enter our lives if we hold steadfast to what He has done for us.
Guided by Isaiah, he foretold:
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53 vv. 5-6
And to reiterate this, one of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians (the challenging group) profoundly asserted the reason we must believe and adhere to the gospel’s message. Yes, the gospel, our saving message!
I refer to Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 15 vv. 1-49. Please visit these verses and the others I’ve mentioned in this reflection as much as you can this week. We must be different from the Corinthians, who unfortunately chose to take things into their own hands and placed minimal memory on what Jesus did for them, and for us. We must consistently defend the pure faith of Christianity. Jesus died for us! He died for our sins! We must be better!
Rhett P. Dodson wrote, “Sin draws our thoughts and affections away from the gospel, and we can easily become twisted in our thinking (pg. 6).”
As Christians, we believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was a sacrifice for our sins and that His resurrection three days later was a sign of God’s love and power. Holy Week is a time for us to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection and to renew our commitment to our faith.
No matter how we celebrate, Holy Week is a time of great significance for us. It is a time to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and glorify His victory over death.
Jesus chose a donkey to enter Jerusalem! He did not select a war horse or chariot. A donkey symbolizes so much. Jesus’ arrival helped to ground prophecies of the Old Testament and represented many characteristics of who He is. In addition, Jesus showed He respected God’s laws and honored the Sabbath by entering Jerusalem on a Sunday and not on a Saturday!
Let’s explore a little:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
Luke 19 v. 20 also tells us this. And just as Zechariah said, Luke 19 v. 35 shares that Jesus rode a colt instead of a mature donkey! No reason to even ask why that was. Friends, the people had so much to learn, and we still have much to know! Donkeys also worked the fields, which in the Bible, is depicted as times of great peace. As misunderstood as He was in some instances, Jesus consistently showed, He was only concerned with peace (Isaiah 53 v. 5). Peace comes from loving God and each other (Matthew 22 vv. 37-40).
The salvation Jesus so kindly gives us must be fresh within us each day. Do you embrace the saving gospel? When we lean into God’s Word. When we get to know Jesus and understand His Holy Spirit. And, when we yield to His Lordship, these processes transform lives.
“We cannot give ourselves to this kind of work, however, unless we are energized for it by the hope we have in the coming resurrection, the day of transformation, the day we see Jesus.” Dodson, 2001 (pg. 142).
Happy resurrection Sunday!
Growing together, inside, and out,
Bancroft, C.L. (1863) Hymn: Before the throne of God above. See lyrics here
Dodson, R.P. (2001). With a mighty triumph: Christ’s resurrection and ours. Versa Press. Pgs. 6, 142.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.