It’s Holy Week which is the week leading up to Easter. Growing up in a mainstream church, we never really talked about Holy Week. At least I don’t’ remember doing so. When I went to a different church while I was in university I was introduced to Holy Week. How the whole week is an important journey to the fulfillment of God’s plan for His people.
The week leading to Jesus’ death on the cross was quite some week. It wasn’t a quiet week by any means. It started out with a bang on Palm Sunday. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem while people praised Him and laid palm branches for the donkey to ride on. These people would be crying for his death by crucifixion at the end of the week. It was a week like no other.
I have often wondered over the years if I had been alive then, whose side would I have chosen? Would I have let fear of change, keep me from seeing the truth, like most of the chief priests and religious leaders? Would the idea of keeping things the way we’ve always done them, have blinded me from Who was Truth, Who was changing things because they needed to change or else we would die?
Would I have been one who praised him on Sunday, pulling down palm branches to lay at his feet, only to find myself scoffing and mocking a mere five days later? Yelling “Crucify Him!” with a mob. Would I have thought we had “won” because He died on a cross?
Would I have realized the truth after He died, and tore my clothes in grief? The realization that He was indeed, King of Jews, had come too late.
Or would I have been one of His followers? Would I have gone out to the seaside or wilderness while He taught? Would I have traded in the laws of religion for His message of truth and love and forgiveness? A new way.
Maybe I would have been one of the women who followed Him and His Twelve, supporting them out of my own pockets? Providing for their needs and sitting at His feet, soaking in every word?
Would I have scattered and hid, once Jesus was arrested? Would I have given up hope that He was the One? Or would my relationship with Him be rooted deep enough to stand this test? Would I have known Him well enough to not lose sight of who He was and where He was from? If I faltered like Peter, would I have known that He loved me so much, that I could run back to him, repentant and forgiven.
Would I have gone out to Golgotha? Would I have watched them raise Him up on a cross, bloodied and beaten beyond recognition? Would I have been angry? Sick? Filled with sorrow and grief?
And after it was over, would I have gone with other followers and holed up in someone’s house, speechless with grief and horror? Later, having to hash it out with others, trying to make sense of the senseless? Where would I find myself that Holy Week had I been alive?
I know what I would hope I would have done. Where I would have been. Whose side I would have chosen? I also know how easily it is to give in to pressure and be swayed. How easy mockery and scoffing roll off these lips. How fear can make me act irrationally, doing things I never would have thought possible.
I wonder about these things because they can just as easily apply today. The way we live, what we say, what we believe; it all comes down to whether we believe He is the One and Only Son of God or not.
Is my relationship with Jesus deep enough to withstand fear, lies, mockery and persecution? Do I know Him well enough to stand firm even when all else fails? If today, I was transported back to Holy Week, where would I be and who would I be standing beside? What about you?