Tag Archives: holyweek

Tracing the Tears – Resurrection #OurHolyWeek

This Holy Week, I’m going to be blogging each day, tracing the tears Jesus shed for Jerusalem to the tear filled eyes who first saw the Risen Christ. Throughout I’ll be following prompts from #OurHolyWeek


“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying.”

John’s account of Jesus’ resurrection begins with tears.

The tears of Good Friday and Holy Saturday were still wet on the faces of Jesus’ friends when He returned to them.

And it was through the tears of Mary Magdalene that He chose to appear – that tells me a lot about the Jesus I follow.

It tells me that this suffering servant is acquainted with the deepest grief, but it also tells me that Jesus forever reigns over the agony, that death and agony are beaten.

Twice in the stories of Jesus’ resurrection He is obscured to the people He appears to; first here when Mary believes that someone has taken the body of Jesus she does not realise to whom she speaks until He speaks her name.

Jesus makes the first move, every time, and waits patiently for us to respond. He leaves the ninety-nine to go after the lost sheep and waits for us to invite Him in when we are found.

And secondly, in Luke we read that Jesus is not recognised until He breaks bread with the hopeless travellers on the way to Emmaus.

The Risen Jesus does things as unexpectedly in life as in resurrection (as if resurrection were not unexpected enough!)

He reveals His power over the grave through signs that others may call weak; Mary’s tears, Cleopas’ hopelessness, His own scars which prove who He is to Thomas.

Our first signs of life are our cries of a baby; and here we see that it is through tears that the risen Lord first appeared. Our tears signal the beginning of everything new; the new life Jesus offers, the new hope He embodies.

As the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, we are reminded that His mercies and our hope are new every morning.

Our hope is in the Christ who died for us, who suffered in His mercy.

Our hope is in the Christ who rose from the grave who has beaten death and evil, in His mercy still bearing the scars of crucifixion.

Our hope is in the Christ who will come again in glory and who in His mercy allows the dawn to rise slowly so that our eyes may become accustomed to the blistering light and life of who He is.

“We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Pope John Paul II

 

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Tracing the Tears – Sacrifice #OurHolyWeek

This Holy Week, I’m going to be blogging each day, tracing the tears Jesus shed for Jerusalem to the tear filled eyes who first saw the Risen Christ. Throughout I’ll be following prompts from #OurHolyWeek


He gave up His spirit.

Then the darkness. The torn temple curtain.

The world changed forever in a moment.

For us.

“Look at him facing the darkness for you. That’ll enable you to face any darkness yourself.” Timothy Keller

It’s a stunning truth which gives me great courage, because the darkness Jesus faced on the cross as He died cannot be imagined nor underestimated.

It was a darkness which swallowed the midday sun; but it was a liberation which tore the temple curtain in two allowing entry to holiest of holies.

Whenever we feel as if no-one understands our agony, we can remember the cross.

Whenever we feel alone, our cries are joined with Jesus’ as he echoed the Psalmist: “My God, My God, why have your forsaken me?”

The cross is the beginning and end of our laments; the beginning because it ushers us into a new understanding of how far Jesus goes for us and the end because death’s sting is extinguished.

Hope was not just born on Easter morning for me; but as Jesus commits His spirit into God’s hands because it was then that He reached out to death so that we may live, then that He tasted hell so that we may taste heaven.

It’s why we call the worst day in history ‘good’. It’s the reason for our hope.

Tracing the Tears – Betrayal #OurHolyWeek

This Holy Week, I’m going to be blogging each day, tracing the tears Jesus shed for Jerusalem to the tear filled eyes who first saw the Risen Christ. Throughout I’ll be following prompts from #OurHolyWeek


Betrayal elicits a particular type of pain; it’s as bitter as the love shared was once shared.

His kiss; meant to be a sign of love signed Jesus’ death warrant.

Betrayal is deeper and more ugly that mere dislike because it disguises itself in a love that once was.

Judas perhaps never truly knew the love of Jesus; but if he had once loved Jesus it was eclipsed by his other loves; money and power.

It was Judas, remember, who scoffed at the money wasted on Jesus’ anointing at Bethany and Judas who took thirty silver coins in exchange for Jesus’ life.

Perhaps Judas wanted a warrior King instead of a servant King who wept and he was willing to betray Jesus to force his hand. Whatever the truth, the cost of his betrayal was too high and he took his own life.

The experience of betrayal not only destroys relationships – but trust that new relationships may be faithful.

It is a tragic end to the story; not just because his life ended in suicide, but because he never really understood the gentleness and grace with which Jesus attracted people.

Betrayal can beat people down, erode their confidence, faith and their view of God.

But I hope that as we look again at the journey of Holy Week, we will see that Jesus does not betray His people; He is faithful.

Judas’ betrayal points us to Jesus’ own faithfulness to the Father, and to us.

He walked through Holy Week knowing what was coming;  yet obeying His Father, loving His people faithfully to the cross and beyond.

“Jesus was victorious not because he never flinched, talked back, or questioned, but having flinched, talked back, and questioned, he remained faithful.”

Brennan Manning

Tracing the Tears – Love #OurHolyWeek

This Holy Week, I’m going to be blogging each day, tracing the tears Jesus shed for Jerusalem to the tear filled eyes who first saw the Risen Christ. Throughout I’ll be following prompts from #OurHolyWeek


Love.

It can make us do strange things, can’t it? Things that to the outside world look strange, even laughable.

Many movies document people doing crazy things out of love; from Sam in Love, Actually leaping airport security to declare his love for Joanne before she leaves for America, to Rachel gate-crashing Ross’ wedding Friends (and Rachel getting off a flight that’s about to board whilst we’re on the Friends theme).

And even by these standards, the way Jesus’ is anointed with perfume on two different occasions in the gospels, might be considered a little extreme.

There are two different accounts of Jesus being anointed. Luke writes of a sinful woman who weeps at Jesus’ feet, washes them with her hair and then pours expensive perfume over him – whilst the other gospel writers mention a similar event when Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus during Holy Week, again pouring expensive perfume over Jesus, but this time Jesus marks it out as a preparation for his coming death.

When the women anointed Jesus they demonstrated wholehearted love and devotion.

For the unnamed sinful woman, her act of devotion prompts Jesus to forgive her sins- whereas in John 12 Mary is chastised by Judas for wasting the money for the perfume to anoint Jesus – but Jesus calls it “a beautiful thing.”

These extravagant acts of love were not only monetarily costly, they humbled themselves. These women gave up their dignity as well as their money to show their love of Jesus.

They did a beautiful thing.

And it leaves with me a question.

When did you last do a beautiful thing for the Lord out of your love for Him?

“There is a sacredness in tears….They are the messengers of …unspeakable love.”

Washington Irving