The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams stated two things in his last press conference. First that, “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives,” and second, however, that there “is a light at the end of the tunnel if everyone does their part for the next 30 days.”
As many have noted, I find it interesting that the hardest week of most Americans’ lives will coincide with Holy Week. It will be the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives, yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is simultaneously a sad and poetic occurrence.
It would fall upon this week though, wouldn’t it? Isn’t this the way of the kingdom?
The way up is down, to lose is to win and crucifixions lead to resurrections? Jesus grieves what is coming, but is met with a triumphant entry into Jerusalem with palm branches laid down and shouts of “Hosanna”. He knows that he will be abandoned by his friends, but he still celebrates with them and washes their feet. He sweats blood in the garden, but surrenders to the good will of the Father. He gets beaten, mocked, hung on a cross, and buried in a tomb. Then he beats and mocks death, the cross becomes a symbol of his victory and the tomb is rolled away to find that there is no body there.
I have heard it said that the Christian life is one that is “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”. I have found this to be true and it will be true this week. Holy Week is a week that is full of sorrow and praise. This will be a hard week, but we will rejoice in God’s presence among us in the difficulty. This is what Paul was saying in 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
This week, let us align our lives and embrace all that Holy Week represents. Defeat and victory. Loss and triumph. Death and resurrection. Let this poetic collision of emotions and experiences pave the way to Golgotha, ultimately to find he hangs there no more. Instead, you are met with a resurrected Savior who is ready to comfort you in your grief and rejoice with you in your hope. “Hosanna; blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord”.
This will be a hard week, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and an empty tomb.