Holy Week

08/04/09 | Posted by ellen

This week is holy week…the last week of lent. So, on Saturday all those things we gave up for lent can begin again. At the start of lent I asked the question – what are you giving up for lent? I also mentioned that this year rather then focusing on giving something up I had decided to start something up – walking to work. I can report that most days I have managed to keep my lent promise (a few particularly unpleasant days meant that I gave in an got the bus). So, as lent comes to an end I wonder how you have got on?

 Pontius Pilate (James Nesbitt) considers what to do with Jesus

This week we hear again the story of Jesus last week on earth. On the Sunday - Palm Sunday – Jesus enters into Jerusalem ‘riding on a donkey’ (Matthew 21: 1-11). He is greeted like a celebrity, the people cheer when they see him, laying palms as he passes them by. On Monday Jesus goes into the temple and overturns the tables of the greedy merchants who sold sacrifices at extortionate rates (Mark 11:15-19). He also manages to anger the temple leaders by answering all their trick questions (Matthew 22:23-40). On the Wednesday Jesus is anointed by a woman who understand his need for love and tender care, Jesus is moved by her generosity and kindness (Mark 14:1-11).

Thursday is a day of betrayal. In the evening Jesus has his last meal with his friends (Matthew 26:20-30). After he spends time in the garden at Gethsemane he is Betrayed by his friend and arrested (Luke 22:39-53). He is forced to justify himself before the high priest (Mark 14:53-65) but doesn’t gain their favour. Even his best friend - Peter - denies knowing him (Mark 14:66-72).

The Friday brings even more suffering and eventually death. Judas, the man who betrayed Jesus hangs himself as he realises the full implications of his actions (Matthew 27:1-5). The crowd turn on Jesus. Having, only a few days shouted ‘Hosanna’, they now shout ‘Crucify him’. So, Roman leader of the city – Pilate - condemns Jesus (Mark 15:1-15) and Jesus is then murdered by the state – he is crucified between two thieves (Luke 23:26-43). Dying in a horrible, painful, shameful way and is buried in a borrowed tomb (Mark 15:33-47)

Such is the fear of the authorities that Jesus followers might make a fuss, try and steal his body or claim his resurrection that on the Friday night and Saturday this borrowed tomb is guarded by Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:62-66). But this security cannot stop a miracle because on Easter Sunday people start seeing Jesus again. Not the ghost of Jesus, not the image of Jesus but the real life Jesus raised from the dead! First there is an angel at the tomb (Mark 16:1-8); then Mary meets Jesus in the garden (John 20:10-18); Then even the most doubting of the disciples - Thomas – demands proof and gets it (John 20:24-29); eventually Jesus meets all the disciples (Luke 24:36-49). Jesus IS alive! He is risen indeed!

If you would like to read the original story then re:jesus has summarized it for you here. Also, you may remember that last year The Passion was screened on BBC1 and you can find out more about the way in which this story was retold for a twenty-first century audience here.

I wonder which parts of this story intrigue you? Which parts you find difficult to believe? How this story speaks into your life this Easter?


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The BBC’s Passion is starting tonight on BBC4

#1. By Bruce on April 08, 2009

Indeed - episodes 1-3 are being shown tonight on BBC4 starting at 7.30pm!
See also the Passion website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/thepassion/

#2. By ellen on April 08, 2009




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