Holy Week, seven days that changed the world

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 20, 2014

Traditionally, for Christians this week has become known as Holy Week. It all started with Palm Sunday. Jesus slowly rode a donkey into Jerusalem as the crowds waved palm branches welcoming him into the city.
On Monday as he made his way into the city he cursed a fig tree for not bearing fruit. Symbolism abounds about this act and many believe it is important that faith is more than just appearances, but that your life bears the fruit of your beliefs. Jesus made his way into the temple and found it full of corrupt moneychangers. He overturned their tables and chased them out saying that his house was one of prayer and not a den of thieves.
Again Jesus and his disciples made their way to the temple on Tuesday. There the religious leaders aggressively challenged his authority. He deflected their attempts by pointing out that their lives were all about appearances full of impurity. He then led his disciples to the Mount of Olives where he taught them about events yet to come.
The Bible doesn’t say what Jesus did on Wednesday, but this may have been the quiet before the storm that was to come.
Thursday was Passover and the day that Jesus and his disciples shared their last meal together. He taught the disciples about service to others by the act of washing their feet. He then led them to the Garden of Gethsemane and to the place where he would pray that his life might take a different path. Later that night he was betrayed by Judas and arrested. His disciple Peter would deny him three times before the next day.
Friday started off with Judas overcome by shame and hanging himself. Jesus would endure shameful mocking, several unlawful trials, a beating beyond comprehension and be sentenced to die by crucifixion. Before the sun would set, Jesus was dead, and his body taken down and laid to rest in a tomb.
Saturday his body was formally treated with spices and wrapped in linen cloth.
Sunday was the day of resurrection. Several women, Martha and Mary among them, went to check on Jesus’ body. They found the stone covering the entrance was rolled away and the tomb was empty. Before the day was over Jesus would make five appearances to his followers. Proof that he had risen from the dead. His disciples were emboldened by the resurrection and fiercely spread his teachings to the far-flung corners of the globe.
Today is the culmination of Holy Week and if you have doubts, like many of his own disciples did, I encourage you to visit one of our community’s churches search for the answer yourself. More than 2,000 years after he, is still changing lives.

Paul Barry is the managing editor and can be reached by email at paul.barry@vicksburgpost.com or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123.

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