The Herald Weekly Vol XVII : 15

What is Passion Week?

The Passion Week is referred to the time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. The whole week is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of His people. Passion Week is recorded in Matthew 21-27, Mark 11-15, Luke 19-23 and John 12-19. This special week begins with Jesus’s triumphal entry on Palm Sunday on the back of a colt as prophesied by Zechariah 9:9.

Several memorable events took place within Passion Week. Jesus cleansed the Temple for the second time (Luke 19:45-46). He then disputed with the Pharisees concerning His authority. He gave His Olivet Discourse on the end times and taught many things, including the signs of His second coming. Jesus ate His Last Supper with His disciples in the upper room (Luke 22:7-38), and then went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray as He waited for His hour to come. It was here that Jesus, having been betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the trials before the chief priests, Pontus Pilate, and Herod (Luke 22:54-23:25).

Following the trials Jesus was scourged at the hands of the Roman soldiers. He was then forced to carry the cross, on which He would be crucified, through the streets of Jerusalem. Jesus was then crucified at Golgotha on the day before the Sabbath, was buried and remained in the tomb until Sunday, the day after the Sabbath, and then gloriously resurrected.

If Jesus passionately showed His love for us by dying on the cross for you and me, what then should our attitude be during the Passion Week?

There are two things which we can consider: firstly, what did Christ give up to die on the Cross for us. Secondly, how should we then live when we have decided to put our trust in Him as our Saviour?

He left all for us. What can we do for Him?

In Philippians 2:7-9, the Apostle Paul tells us that Christ “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Christ left Heaven’s glory so that He could manifest God’s love towards us. He was willing to pay the ransom for our sinful souls so that those who trust in Him will have eternal life. What then would we be willing to sacrifice for Him this Passion Week? Hours spent in front of the TV, or at the movies? Tapping on our mobile phones or computer keyboard? Listening to our ipods or other audio devices? Tinkering around the house on endless chores, or rushing through important assignments to meet deadlines? Completing homework or burning the midnight oil studying for tests and exams? Can we sacrifice some of our time to reflect on what Jesus did for us? Do we have time for this? Take time to consider.

Buried with Him, Living for Him

Romans 6:4 states that “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” The Apostle Paul reiterates this newness of life in 2 Cor 5:17 by saying, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”

If we have decided to follow Christ, and are baptized in His name, are we then living like new creatures in Him? How can things be new in our lives this week? Let us examine our lifestyles and see if there are changes that ought to be made. What are the things that preoccupy our minds, and that are translated into our actions each day? Are we concerned with the material things; things which have no eternal value? Are we concerned with keeping the house so ‘Mr Muscle-clean’, yet our minds harbour thoughts which are not clean before God’s sight? Are we praying for God’s help, yet we worry over everything each day? Are we trusting the Lord, and seeking His directions for our lives each day, or are we making 3-year, 5-year or 10-year plans without seeking His guidance?

In Romans chapter 7, the Apostle Paul tells us of his struggles as a follower of Christ. He shares, “For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me” (7:19-21). He shares about being enslaved to sin, and cannot break away from its control. Do we sometimes not feel the same way? We often harbour bitter thoughts, jealousy, pride, lust, deceitfulness and hatred. But what happens when we surrender out lives to Christ?

Thank God the Apostle Paul’s is not enslaved to sin forever because he shares in Romans 7:24-25, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Christ Jesus our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

As we take time to consider the events which took place during Christ’s Passion Week, let us consider whether we want to be enslaved to sin. Christ Jesus has overcome sin and its power. We should therefore refuse to be subject to the evil thoughts in our mind, and claim Christ’s power over sin. Let us yield to His Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and allow Him to help us lead righteous lives each day.

This week, let us consider Christ.

Pastor Bob Phee
(1st printing 28 Mar 2010)

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