Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Was--and Is--Holy Week All About?

Palm Sunday is a good time for pondering. Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, below the surface of it, is filled with implications that many did not see when it first occurred and many more do not fathom even yet.

For one thing, it represented the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah. For another, the humility with which Jesus entered the Holy City--not to mention week-long events following that led to his crucifixion on Good Friday--evidence clearly what kind of Messiah God intended him to be. Not until his divine mission was confirmed by his resurrection on Easter morn did who he truly was begin to break through. And even in all the centuries ever since believers in him have not fully grasped the magnitude of it all.

Rob Bell speaks in his new book on Love Wins (Harper One, 2011) about "the beauty of the historic, orthodox Christian faith," calling it "a deep, wide, diverse stream that's been flowing for thousands of years, carrying a staggering variety of voices, perspectives, and experiences."

I share his hope to introduce Christians everywhere "to the ancient, ongoing discussion surrounding the resurrected Jesus in all its vibrant, diverse, messy, multivoiced complexity." To let this week go by with no more than ideas already so fixed in our minds that there is no need to ponder further its life-changing implications for each of us would inevitably be to trivialize it and miss out on its promise.

Listen carefully, therefore, for what was really going on in all that then went on. And long for the day when Messiah as he is will use your pondering of his journey through this week to further transform your life.