Small Beginnings: Holy Week

Here we are right smack in the middle of what Christians around the world call Holy Week. It is referred to with this unique identifier because the weekend commemorating the Easter story is the crux around which the entire Christian faith revolves. Hence the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection is called Holy Week as every moment in the life of Christ is documented, analyzed and revered.

Sunday begins the week with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem when Jesus rides into town on a donkey and the crowd responds with cries of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” This pomp and circumstance quickly vanishes as the subsequent events unfold. On Monday, Jesus stirs up controversy and attracts a lot of attention when he cleanses the money changers from the temple courts and infuriates the religious leadership. He also curses the fig tree on this day which is the only recorded example of a destructive miracle that the Lord does during his ministry on earth.

Tuesday introduces us to one of the most famous sermons that Jesus ever preached since he shared some details about the future and what could be expected to occur during the end times. The content of this public speech was punctuated by the location of its delivery because Jesus was standing upon the Mount of Olives when he spoke about these dramatic events. The Mount of Olives is a place of significance in the prophetic writings of the Jews for that is where the Messiah is expected to come and set his feet at the end of all things. How intriguing that Jesus would preach this message about the end of days from this prophetic pulpit.

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Then comes Wednesday, which mirrors this particular day of the week for us as well. Curiously, on this midweek day, at the very center of the most important seven days in Christendom, the Gospels suddenly fall strangely silent. There is no narrative about the activities of Christ on this day. Still. Quiet. You can hear a pin drop. After the joyous celebrations of Sunday and the disturbing commotion of Monday and the provocative warnings and predictions of Tuesday, the silence of Wednesday is somewhat deafening.

I think this perceived inactivity by Christ is very common even in our own lives still today. Doesn’t it seem like right in the midst of our frantic lives when things are completely out of control and ramping up to a crescendo of crisis, it is then that we often feel like God has become silent. We may be left wondering how it could make sense that during what we perceive as the most challenging time in our lives we could feel so far from the God who loves us. We cannot hear his voice and we cannot sense His presence. But these are the evidences only communicated by our senses which are very often unreliable in the midst of turmoil and difficulty.

The truth that we must cling to and more so in times of difficulty is that even when we do not hear his voice, he continues to speak through his word. And even when we cannot sense his presence, he remains by our side in constant care. You see, much like Jesus resting in the disciples’ boat during the raging storm, though we may be baffled by his silence, we need not fear it, for he remains fully in control. So long as we continue to place our trust and faith in the truth of His word despite the evidence of our circumstances, we can experience the great miracle of peace even in the darkest night of the soul.

It’s Wednesday. And you may not have a clue about what the Lord is doing. You may not be able to hear him speak at all. In fact, in the days to come, things may end up growing considerably worse before they get better. But don’t despair my friend. Do not become anxious because of the silence. Jesus remains at rest, still and peaceful in your stormy boat. Set your heart on the promise of what yet lies ahead on the coming resurrection morning. He is risen. He is risen indeed!