Holy Week Reflections 2020
The soldiers nail my Saviour’s hands to the cross
They nail my Saviour’s feet to the cross
And then they raise Him up
Next to criminals
But let me tell you something
This extract from a famous sermon by African American pastor S.M.Lockridge doesn’t spare us the pain of Good Friday. We watch with the disciples as their beloved Teacher is nailed to a cross and brutally executed and it seems to them as if all hope has been squeezed out of the world. Good Friday 2020 is a dark day too with the news filled with stories of so many people being struck down by COVID-19. However, Lockridge is most emphatic about the fact that “Sunday’s coming”. We live post-resurrection. We know that death doesn’t have the final say. We must just keep the faith through the dark times until Sunday comes!
Pray that God will give you the strength to keep going and that your faith will be sustained during these dark times until Sunday morning dawns.
Today we remember the meal Jesus instituted. It has many names: The Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, Holy Communion.
Each name tells us a little about what this meal represents. Calling this a supper may bring to mind the idea that this is a comfort meal that we share with our family. The word, “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word for “thanksgiving”. As we take the bread and wine, we give thanks for what they represent: Jesus body broken and blood spilt for us. Communion carries the idea of fellowship, of meeting others in a deep and significant way.
All these are true. We share the bread and wine with one another, and in doing so, we meet with Jesus, give thanks for His sacrifice, and are drawn into a deeper relationship with Him. The tragedy of our current situation means we cannot share this meal together. But the beauty of this is that we still can meet with Him, for He is with us at all times and in all circumstances.
We cannot meet together. But we can still meet Him.
Prayer: Spend some time in quiet reflection, and ask that Jesus would meet with you today. Listen for Him, hear what He has to say, and enjoy His presence with you.
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
“Then one of the Twelve — the one called Judas Iscariot — went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.” Matthew 26:14-16 NIVUK
An alternative name for the Wednesday of Holy Week is Spy Wednesday because it is the day when Judas Iscariot conspired with the Chief Priests to betray Jesus and thereafter became their spy – biding his time for the right moment to hand Jesus over to them. Let’s not be like Judas but instead aim to be secret agents for Christ by quietly going about His work this Holy Week in humble acts of love and kindness that bring glory to Him.
Pray that pleasing God, not seeking material gain or earthly praise will be your main motivation.
Today, we remember the moment when Jesus curses the fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22)
It’s a strange moment, as it seems to come out of nowhere; but it seems Jesus wanted to use this moment to teach a lesson. He had come to this tree from clearing the Temple: at a distance, it looked good for food. Yet, upon closer inspection, there was nothing to be found. He curses the fig tree for giving the impression of offering good things but truly offering nothing.
Jesus seems to be condemning those things which seem to offer us answers and hope, but upon closer inspection give us none of these things. He knows the pain we can experience when it seems like everything in which we put our hope is crashing down around us. By the end of this week, He hopes that we will answers and hope in something which will never let us down: Him.
Prayer: During this difficult time, when many are seeking answers and hope, pray that the hope of Jesus might be better known: a hope which will never let us down.
Monday of Holy Week is the day when Jesus cleared the temple of money-changers and merchants:
“My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of robbers” (Mark 11:17 NIVUK)
The temple was a busy place, but it wasn’t the number of people there that mattered, it was why they were there. Today we sometimes judge a church’s ‘success’ by the size of the congregation, but this story shows that Jesus is more interested in motives than numbers. Take some time today to clear your mind of distractions and start focusing on God and what Jesus has to go through this Holy Week.
Prayer: Amidst all that is happening in the world this week set time aside to be still and talk to God. Monday of Holy Week
Today is the first day of Holy Week. Why is it called “holy”? What does that mean?
Holy is defined as, “that which is regarded as sacred or able to convey a sense of the divine. Also, that which is set apart for God’s will or use”. In other words, if something is holy, it is of God.
This week is holy because it was used by God to complete His greatest work. It is holy because we are invited to set ourselves apart from everyday life, to remember and give thanks for what God has done. It is holy because by remembering these events, we gain a sense of the divine: we understand something of God’s character; His desire to bring forgiveness, love, and peace to us all.
And it begins with the arrival of Jesus: entering Jerusalem, with the waving of palm branches; welcomed as a triumphant King, but “lowly and riding on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9 NIVUK).
Prayer: Welcome Jesus in prayer, and ask God to prepare your heart as we journey through the events of Holy Week in our different places.