Holy Week Tendencies

“We have a temptation to make Holy Week all about us. Make it about Him.” - DanMike Thompson (definitely paraphrased)

In the same way, I think those in Jesus’ time, although they truly didn’t know what was about to transpire this week, were battling a similar temptation.

In the perspective of the Jews, the Messiah was supposed to come and destroy the powers that be, restoring the Jews to their promised land, restoring the Jews to their promised "greatness." The Messiah was supposed to be someone that was not like this Jesus character, in their short sighted understanding. Even on Palm Sunday, the people found themselves waving the palm branch in hopes of anarchy, in hopes that this was their Messiah.

I too have a tendency to try and make the Messiah be someone else, someone more comfortable to fit what I think He should do. I wave the branches as a form of worship, but in the hopes that He will come through for me in the way that I want Him to.

Time and time again, we, the people, make what we see around us the reality of what we live in. This has never been the way that God has operated. We continue to make ourselves larger, to make others larger, anything else the curse can touch much larger than the power of what this week unleashes. His gospel is the power.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
— 1 Corinthians 1:18
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
— Romans 1:16

None of this is about us. It always has been and will be about Jesus.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me. . . . If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.
— John 5:39, 46
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
— Luke 24:26

If we let Jesus be Jesus, this Jesus we know from the Words He has given us; if we let the truth of both the horrors and the glories of this week be what they are without putting them in a box, then our lives can truly be changed. But it is in death that life comes forth.

Look upon Him, don’t stop looking upon Him, and live.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
— Matthew 5:17-18
He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
— Hebrews 9:12
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
— Isaiah 53:5
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:6-11
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
— Mark 8:34-35