Passion week. Holy week. It is the week before Easter where many of us take the time to focus on the story of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. We say that we spend this week preparing our hearts for Easter, but I wonder, “What was this week really like for Jesus?”
As I read through each version of what happened, I wonder, “What was Jesus thinking? What was Jesus feeling?”
The week starts in triumph as Jesus enters Jerusalem to the praise of a large crowd, but the week ended with His death. Of course on the first day of the next week it started with His resurrection.
There are many people out there today who claim that they don’t believe in the resurrection. They say that they believe in God. They claim that they believe that Jesus lived, but they don’t believe that He rose again from the grave.
And to be honest, it does seem like an outrageous claim. Who can bring back people from death? Who can raise themselves from the grave after they had died?
Only Jesus has the power over life and death. Only Jesus was fully man and fully God.
Jesus went through a horrible arrest. He was mocked and beaten. He was judged innocent and yet the crowd still called to crucify Him.
He was given over to the crowd. Some of whom were probably the same people who praised Him earlier that week.
And they crucified Him.
A death on the cross was the most humiliating, painful and slow death at the time. The person who was sentenced to be crucified had to bear their own cross to the place of crucifixion. They were paraded through the city, laughed at and mocked. Then with crowd watching they were nailed to the cross and the cross was raised.
The cross was a slow death and from the descriptions I have read very painful. To show some mercy to the criminals, they would eventually break the legs of the criminals in order to shorten the time that they would hang there.
But Jesus was hung on that cross. He was mocked and jeered. The Pharisees believed that they had won. For according to them, it was better for one man to die than a nation. (John 18:14)
But before they could break His legs, Jesus cried out, “It is finished” and gave up His life.
And for the rest of us the story would have ended here, but for Jesus the story didn’t end.
Because on the first day of the week, Jesus rose from the grave,
He won. He won the victory over death!
He paid the price for our sins and then He overcame!
And because of this we can gladly shout, “Jesus is ALIVE!”