We are standing at the edge of the greatest week of our lives readying ourselves to walk this sacred journey from the Mount of Olives, to Golgotha, and into the freshness of the Resurrection Garden. It is a week in which the whole cosmos is given its meaning and from which we come again to understand ourselves differently because of what we encounter in the tomb at the other end. While our Hosannas still ring in our ears, we turn towards the cross as we see just what God’s love means. A love that transcends death.
In the Gospel of Luke, which opens our letter, the writer is reminding us that the events which we are about to experience in the week ahead, are events that have both a point and reason. This week, and this Gospel, are about salvation. Our salvation. Something which on the face of it so far away from the historical moment it seems crazy today, yet we keep re-membering, re-presenting, re-engaging, with the story every year. But why? Surely we know how the story ends by now. But do we?
Holy week is a reminder of our own death to self, to our own worry, our own challenges, our own life and into the new life of Christ’s freedom. Jesus was a real human like you and I, which meant the fear we hear in the garden before his trial was real, the betrayal he felt at dinner with his friends was real, the nails driving through his flesh were real. Pain, fear, betrayal, are human emotions, which connect us through scripture to the this holiest of weeks, a week we have to see to believe.
Easter only makes sense when it is grounded in the human reality of this week ahead. Even at the tomb in the Gospel for Easter Sunday, the women who encountered the resurrection became aware of how this moment, this week, was something Jesus had been telling us would happen for his whole life. Yet it's hard for us to really believe it, until we experience it. We have been walking with Christ from the shores of Galilee, to the Mount of Olives, to the cross and now the grave. A grave that couldn’t even hold Jesus. Which is unreal! But first came the palms, the dinner, the garden, and the cross.
This week before us is unreal, it is messy, it is weird, and it is deeply human. In it we are shown the direction of our lives, by it we are shown the incredible power of God to move us beyond our wildest imaginations into new life. This community remains one which is deeply human and full of God’s power to do more than we can ask or imagine. I invite you to make a gift to the ministry of this parish offering to God in thanksgiving a gift of your Easter Joy borne through this week of the Cross which saves us all.
He is not here, He is Risen! No way! Come, see for yourself! Bring a friend!