To celebrate Holy Week, I have put together some of my most special pieces that represent the last week of the Savior's life. I hope you enjoy!
On Palm Sunday, Jesus Christ rides triumphantly into Jerusalem. He is welcomed with palm leaves, and shouts of Hosanna! He fills prophecy by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. As I pondered about this moment I wondered what it might have been like to be there. I hope His gaze would have found mine through the crowd, and that my soul would have lept in its own Hosanna as The Holy Spirit confirmed His truth.
There’s a few reasons this story of Jesus cleansing the temple causes me to pause. First, I value His example of righteous anger. Righteous anger has the power to move and make things right, and it is often sparked when others are being mistreated. Second, His bravery at standing up for His Father. Finally, I often create images from the point of view of those who have turned from God, because I often do, and that is how the Savior found me. Perhaps as the merchants were fleeing, one looked over his shoulder and saw the glory of Christ’s righteous anger and was changed. This image is a reminder to not turn from God and His holy ways, and to stand up for His truths.
As Jesus taught in the temple during His last week as a mortal man, He referenced Himself as “…the stone which the builders rejected…” Can you imagine rejecting the very thing that was meant to be your cornerstone?! Seeing it in scripture makes it so easy to judge those who rejected the Savior…. But if I turn the lens around, my life is full of moments I have rejected my Savior and yet—- His hand is still reaching out…beckoning, pleading, inviting me to come- to come and be healed and to build upon His safe and sure foundation. I know He is reaching out for you too.
Jesus knew what was coming. He knew there was much still to be done. I can’t imagine Him doing it without prayer. There are times in my life when I have faced things I didn’t think I could do, and have only gotten through with the spiritual power of prayer. Jesus always turned to His Father for help, guidance, direction, and love. So can we - every moment if that is what is needed.
I once heard a talk given in church where the speaker taught that Christ is the only one who will ever have to experience the total withdrawal of Heavenly help and presence. And that by being willing to face that in the midst of His darkest and deepest pain, He was willing to suffer alone so that we would never have to.
After an exhausting night, devastating betrayal, false conviction, and a sentence of death by crucifixion; Jesus is nailed to a cross and is mocked and taunted until His death. He offers some of the most divine words ever uttered, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) He was carefully and lovingly buried in a sealed tomb. At this moment it may have seemed that the battle was lost. Yet always in these moments, is when the Lord shows forth His marvelous power. Don’t ever give up, for Christ will always win.
My sister is convinced I’m going to hell for my beliefs. This led us to a conversation about how it will be when we see Christ again….will He look at me and say, “I never knew you”? Or will He walk towards me, with arms reaching out, a smile on His face, speaking the words, “It is finished, my good and faithful servant”? This piece reflects my hope of what I might see when it is my turn to die. It also shows what I think awaited those who had watched with heavy hearts the previous day's events from the perspective of heaven. Heavenly Father must have uttered, “It is finished, my good and faithful Son - in whom I am well pleased.”
I can’t help but sing the song, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today - Hallelujah!” How it must have felt to see Him standing there! He IS the Light, the Life, the Hope of this world. Stunningly enough - He knows me, and He loves me, and He saves me every day.