10 lessons: looking back on Holy Week

Holy Week invited us to reflect on the deeper matters of faith by revisiting the story of Jesus, especially giving attention to the events that occurred between Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem and his resurrection.

The overarching message of God’s love and forgiveness is demonstrated through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. However, the passion narrative is actually a composite of mini-episodes contributing to the central plot which reaches its crescendo with the cross and the empty tomb.

This year, as reflected on the daily events that occurred during Jesus’ pivotal week in Jerusalem, I noted a few lessons about life and faith that I want to remember:

#1 Every temple needs cleansing now and then, including those built of brick and mortar, and those composed of flesh and blood.

#2 Live prepared and make every day count. No one knows the day nor the hour when the Lord will come, not even those who speculate on the colors of the moon.

#3 Taking up the towel and basin is simultaneously an act of service and an expression of leadership.

#4 A mandate is different than a prerogative or a preference. It is a command to be obeyed, not an option to be considered.

#5 Breaking bread around the table with friends…Those are occasions to be remembered.

#6 Jesus prayed “Not my will, but your will be done” once. I must pray those words continually because my will is so blatantly persistent.

#7 Beware of those who kiss up to you. They either have an agenda of their own, or they are in cahoots with those plotting a coup.

#8 Be faithful to God and yourself. We will be tempted daily to betray our God, our values, and our character for much less than 30 pieces of silver.

#9 Going along with the crowd is always a risky venture. Crowds seldom make wise decisions.

#10 Only borrow something when you won’t be needing it very long, sort of like when Jesus borrowed a tomb.

Each of the daily stories that comprised the big story of Holy Week had something to teach us about human nature, about sin, and about transformative faith. The lessons we learn from the life of Jesus encourage and equip us to be better followers of Jesus.

Barry Howard

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Barry Howard serves as senior minister of the First Baptist Church of Pensacola.

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