And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” (Matthew 20:17-19)
It’s hard to imagine the range of emotions Jesus must have felt as Holy Week began. He knew what was coming: fleeting adulation and sweet communion; betrayal and rejection and humiliation; a torturous death and a triumphant resurrection.
And so, “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2), Jesus went up to Jerusalem, setting in motion the events that changed the course of human history.
During this Holy Week, we commemorate and celebrate these momentous events. On Palm Sunday, we raise our voices to welcome the coming King: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13).
On Maundy Thursday, we remember our servant King, who washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-5) and instituted a commemoration of broken body and shed blood (Luke 22:14-20).
On Good Friday, we reflect on the physical and spiritual agony of the Crucifixion. A crown of thorns and a rugged cross. The King of kings forsaken by friends and foes - and by the Father (Matthew 27:46). The Lamb of God who, by his sacrifice, takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
And on Resurrection Sunday, we rejoice in our conquering King’s victory over death and the grave. His resurrection is a deposit, a guarantee, a “firstfruits” of our own (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Remember. Reflect. Rejoice. For we serve a risen Savior!