Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Holy Week is shaped by the central story in our scriptures. It is the story of the passion – Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. The week begins with palms and Hosannas and seemingly ends with crucifixion and death. It is important to note that Holy Week is not simply a remembering of an event of history nor is it a reenactment. More importantly, Holy Week is not a week where God’s justice is “satisfied” with the punishment of Jesus on account of our sins but neither is it a week were we can expect to be satisfied with some tidy explanation of Jesus death. Holy Week is a mystery to enter in to.. it is to be experienced. It is a week to ponder the so many ways we are ensnared in the sin and sins of this world – the communal sins of greed, avarice, and violence- and the individual sins of betrayals and denials. It is a week that confronts us with the power of empire and its violent ways. At its core, it is a week to be encountered by a strange and troubling word. The word that what is revealed in the story is the very character of God – the God who willingly is emptied of immortality; the giving of God’s very self away even to the point of death; even to the point of taking into God’s self the experience of death .. or dare we say it.. it is the week that God dies.
…. without this week… Easter is only a spring time festival and we are only left with the props of butterflies, bunnies, and flowers.
* What keeps you from gathering with others to hear and encounter a word that tells the truth of our sin and the giving away of God’s own life?
* Where have you seen the suffering and death of the world this week?
* What does it mean to you that on the cross God experiences death with us?