“Holy Week” or “Passion Week” refers to the events in the life of Jesus a week before he is resurrected from the dead. Here are my reflections on each day as we remember the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I won’t be going into a historical or a Biblical study of each day as there are many resources you can find regarding this day. These are merely my personal reflections. A great place to start learning more about Maundy Thursday can be found here: Justin Taylor, Holy Week, Day 5: Thursday
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”Matthew 26:36-39
What a day on this Thursday of Holy Week.
This is the day Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper for the church as he reveals the true meaning behind Passover. It actually pointed to this very moment hundreds of years ago when the spirit of death passed over the people of Israel who had the blood of sacrificed lambs painted over their doorposts.
More than merely freeing the people of God from the slavery and oppression of Egypt, the Passover pointed to the spiritual freedom Jesus would bring through his sacrifice from the slavery and oppression to sin and death. And it is on this evening that Jesus will go to the garden of Gethsemane to reveal that even in His most vulnerable state, He will choose obedience to God over the will of his flesh as it becomes the night of his betrayal and arrest.
There are many times we can joke about our laziness and use the Scripture, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” as an excuse to fall to temptation. But in light of what is going on as Jesus says these words, I hope we can realize that these words were never meant to be an excuse, let alone something to say without much thought. However, Jesus does command us to something. He says to his disciples to “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41)
Jesus’ words in the garden of Gethsemane reminds us that His sacrifice and atonement of our sins does not warrant us to continue living in sin and compromise.
We are called by Jesus to be awake, to watch and pray, so that we do not enter into temptation.
He invites us, even in his sorrow in the garden, to cast our burdens on him, to pick up our cross and follow Him as His yoke is easy and his burden is light. We are reminded that we have died to sin, just as Christ died on the cross, so that we might be alive in Him, just as He rose again from the dead.
These reflections on the Holy Week move me to recognize more clearly that our lives are not our own. We were bought with a price, a price too great and infinitely beyond what we ought to be valued for. And in Jesus’ ultimate obedience, we are led to worship and adore our God.