Palm Sunday observes the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that was marked by the crowds who were in Jerusalem for Passover waving palm branches and proclaiming him as the messianic king. The Gospels tell us that Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, enacting the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, and in so doing emphasized the humility that was to characterize the Kingdom He proclaimed.
Thursday of Holy Week is remembered as the time Jesus ate a final meal together with those who had followed him for so long. Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin “Mandatum”, which means “Commandment” referring to the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Last Supper, that they should love and serve one another.
On Friday of Holy Week, we commemorate Jesus’ arrest, his trial, crucifixion and suffering, death, and burial. Good Friday is not a day of celebration but of mourning, both for the death of Jesus and for the sins of the world that his death represents. Yet, although Friday is a solemn time, it is not without its own joy. For while it is important to place the Resurrection against the darkness of Good Friday, likewise the somberness of Good Friday should always be seen with the hope of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
If you think Jesus was a great leader and teacher, but find it hard to believe in his resurrection, you’re in good company. Even his disciples were skeptical, but those same followers were the ones who would later become the spokesmen of a new movement: the Church. They would maintain faith in the midst of incredible suffering. Many died still claiming that Jesus was their Savior. So what do we make of this defining event—the one that became the foundation of their faith . . . and of ours? Join us as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord through worship this Easter Sunday.