Last year I had the opportunity to walk the road on which Jesus carried the cross. It is known as the Via Dolorosa which is translated as the “painful way” or “the way of suffering”. I was amazed at how it beamed with normal life. Street vendors and people going from place to place were everywhere. As tourists we were almost completely ignored by all but the vendors. We were told that it would have been very similar to that 2000 years ago. As I observed all of this I wondered how many people years ago missed this event in all the busyness of their daily lives.
We romanticize our holidays at times and paint pictures in our minds of what a moment in history would have been like. This most sacred of moments has conjured many pictures and icons throughout the history of Christendom. The reality was that the Romans crucified hundreds of people on a regular basis. Unless you knew who Jesus was, you probably would have barely given that moment a glance. That blows my mind. And yet, here we are far into the future and we find that the same kind of busyness grips our lives and many times we barely acknowledge the one who carried that cross for us.
This is why I think Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday) is so critical. It is a time to intentionally reflect on what has been done for us. Easter is so much more than Sunday morning. It is Sunday morning resurrection because of perfect holiness and sacrifice the days before. It is God giving all He had so we could have life. Holy Week for me is really my New Year. It is a time of refocus and recommitment. It is a reassignment of priorities. It is being humble before the truth of my story as a Christian.
I hope this Holy Week you will take time to let the busyness fade and look deeply into what God has done for you in Christ. Read the Gospel accounts through the week as a personal devotion. Go into Easter Sunday with a running start and then keep running.
May God bless each of us as we begin this walk with Him through the holiest of weeks.