Holy Week Observance Intro

Hello Everyone

As tomorrow (Palm Sunday) begins the final week of Jesus’s life, we want to take this unique opportunity presented to us by our forced solitude to reflect on the final days of Jesus. To do that, each day (beginning tomorrow), I will post part of a course produced by the Gospel Coalition based upon the book, The Final Days of Jesus, by New Testament Scholar Andreas Kostenberger. I use his reading guide for my own personal reflections each year during Holy Week (the book may be purchased on Amazon). The course contains, for each day, readings from the Gospels corresponding to what took place on that day, a short video of explanation, and some opportunities for further reading.

I invite you to reflect this week on what the death and resurrection of Jesus means for you. I would encourage you to do this as a family, get a few people together in an online format to think together, or use your solitude to reflect privately. Kostenberger has a study guide available as well if you want to use it to help you in your thinking. This is a great resource and we have probably never been in a better position to reflect deeply on the passion of Jesus than we are now. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

As we begin, let me invite you to consider 5 reasons Kostenberger gives for why we should reflect upon Holy Week and then point you to the course introduction which we’ll be following. Here are the 5 reasons in summary. Read the article for more explanation. Here below quoted from Kostenberger’s article (course introduction video below)…

  1. This is the most important week in the life of the most important person who ever lived!
  2. In our busy lives in which we’re occupied with many things – many good, some perhaps not so good or essential – reflecting on Jesus’ final week will help refocus our lives on what is central to our faith.
  3. Reflecting on Jesus’ final week will help you understand the biblical Gospels better.
  4. Reflecting on the final days of Jesus is a valuable exercise any day of the year, but it is beneficial especially at the time when all of Christendom celebrates Easter while the rest of the world takes note even featuring Easter specials in the news media and on cable television.
  5. At the core, the true Christian faith is not merely a set of abstract beliefs or list of doctrines to be affirmed. Rather, it is a series of events that took place historically in the life of Jesus: his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The grand narrative of Scripture climaxes in the historical depiction of Jesus and the salvation he procured.

For some historical background on the way the Church has historically thought of Holy Week, take a look at the course introduction and opening video below.

I’m looking forward to reflecting with you!