Holy Week Messages

John 20:1-18
At last, it’s here! Easter morning, the joy of the Resurrection and the promise of eternal life and love that it brings for believers! Try to imagine the scene outside the tomb – the sights, the scents, the voice of Jesus calling our own name, like Mary we want to touch him, hold on to him but we can’t – not yet! Even Mary has to be reminded at this point that she has to let him go. She has work to do – spreading the good news. However, God’s restoration has begun – it will be completed when Christ returns.

Look now at our own gardens which are springing back to life. Plants that looked dead a short time ago are now showing new buds, trees are in blossom, flowers are blooming, lambs are in the fields. God’s creation is speaking to us of new life, new beginnings.

Pray that this Easter will be a fresh start for each of us too. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”. Christ restored our relationship with God. Don’t we owe it to him to try to heal any rifts between each other and try to restore any relationships within our family, our church, our work or our friendship groups that are strained or broken.

May the peace of Christ and his restoring power be with you this Easter and always.

This Passion Song by Sean Carter summarises the journey through Holy Week from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection.

Matthew 27:57-66
Very little is said in the gospels about Easter Saturday. However, it is not difficult to imagine the shock and desolation his disciples must have felt. Jesus was dead and buried – no question about it! He may have predicted that he would rise again but after things had seemingly got so out of control and he had been violently and publicly executed – could they still believe him? He was gone, leaving behind a terrible emptiness. On Sunday morning when Mary came to tell them of his resurrection they were “mourning and weeping” (Mark 16:10) and seemed to have difficulty believing her.

We all face times in our lives when we think that God has abandoned us. However, we can take comfort from the fact that God is with us, even though we may not feel his presence. He sees the whole picture when we only see a small part. We may only see darkness but he knows dawn will come.

Let us reflect on the song “While we wait” by Amanda Cook.

Luke 23:26-49
As a child you might have wondered why it is called “Good” Friday when what happened that day was so awful. Even as an adult you may find Good Friday and Easter Saturday difficult to bear. It may be with some relief that you wake up on the Sunday morning to the joy of Easter morning and the celebration of the resurrection. However, you can’t have Easter Sunday without Good Friday. Jesus had to die first, before our sins could be forgiven and sin and death defeated. The events of Good Friday are inextricably linked to the resurrection joy of Easter Sunday – that is why it is good! Listen to this reflection written by Naomi Starkey and put yourself in the place of the centurion as he watched the terrible events unfold. Thank Jesus for his amazing love and sacrifice.

John 13: 1-17
Today we remember the Last Supper when Jesus and the disciples shared their final meal before his death in celebration of Passover. Let us focus particularly on Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Washing another’s feet expresses intimacy. I have only ever washed the feet of my own child or grandchild or an elderly parent. We can but marvel at the fact that Jesus chooses to get so close to his followers in this way. In a land of hot and dusty roads where the wearing of sandals was the norm, Jesus’s task would have been pretty unpleasant, I imagine. It was a job usually carried out by the lowliest servant. Peter picks up on this. However, Jesus is once again turning the usual world order on its head and showing he is truly the “Servant King”. Not only that, he tells the disciples in John 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” In other words, as his followers we too are called upon to serve others in humility. How might we be of service to others this week?
Let’s reflect now on the words of “Lord I come (Wash my feet)” by David Brackenberry


John 13: 18-30

Traditionally the Wednesday of Holy Week is the day when we remember Jesus being betrayed by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot. As Christians, we are horrified by the actions of Judas, whose name has become synonymous for anyone who is a traitor. We find it especially repugnant that he uses a kiss as the sign for Jesus to be arrested. “How could he do this?” we ask, “Jesus was his friend, his teacher, his Lord.” However, when we pause and reflect, we realise that all the disciples let Jesus down by the end of Holy Week through their abandonment of him. Peter even went as far as to deny that he ever knew him. Can any of us say that we have never let Jesus down, never ignored him, never refused to listen to him? Pray about these times and ask for his forgiveness.

Photo: Mstyslav Chernov, Sculpture portraying the kiss of Judas, -Magic square- symbolising life of Christ (33), CC BY-SA 3.0


Matthew 22: 34-40

As we continue our journey through Holy Week with Jesus, we find him today teaching in the Temple. When asked by the Pharisees “Which is the greatest commandment?” he replies “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and secondly, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love is the very essence of Jesus. Watch this video about the love Jesus showed for us during Holy Week and continues to share with us today and allow the warm glow of His love to spread through you. Think of how you can show love and kindness to others this Holy week.


Matthew 21: 12-17
Today is the day when Jesus entered the Temple and overturned the tables of the money changers, throwing out those who were conducting commercial activity (and probably exploiting people) within the Temple precincts. Jesus is leading by example here, showing that there is a time to be angry, if our anger is directed against evils such as injustice and exploitation. However, this incident also challenges us to look at ourselves as “temples of the Holy Spirit” – are we prepared to let Jesus spring clean all that is wrong within us?

Image courtesy of www.FreeBibleImages.org