What's so special about the Holy Week? Technically speaking, for some, nothing. Today it seems that the Holy Week is just another set of days in the year that have been blocked off for work to be closed and for people to take vacation breaks.
For some, there's nothing sacred about the days of lent. That is if you were to simply just focus on the days, rituals, stories and traditions without coming into terms with the power that is highlighted on the Holy Week. It's not about the days. We can join the services, read all the blogs and hunt for all the eggs. But if we do not dig deeper, we're not making the most of what Holy Week could be for us.
Many Christians view Holy Week as a duty to be fulfilled. But it's really not. It's not a sin to not celebrate the Holy Week. However, what the Holy Week is, is an opportunity. An opportunity for what? An opportunity to grow more into the resurrection power as we seek to understand it more. We make most of the Holy Week season when we do exactly that. Here are five specific ways you can do that.
1. Know the meaning behind the symbols
What the palm, the names attached to the days, the fasting, the communion, the passion and the many symbols in Holy Week are supposed to do is simply this: point to Christ. The goal of Holy Week is not to finish a checklist of traditions but to see how they point us to an aspect of Jesus' life, burial and resurrection and how it applies to us today.
2. Enjoy church community
The Holy Week doesn't have to be processed alone. We all have families, friends and church communities whom we can celebrate the Holy Week with coming into terms with what Christ has done for us. There's just so much to the essence of the gospel and we can learn a thing or two from one another in the midst of enjoying church community.
3. Remember Christ's passion
What happened on that fateful weekend two thousand years ago when heaven, earth and hell were shaken by one moment in time? Remembering the passion of the Christ makes us understand more the purpose of Jesus' suffering and the benefits it now brings us.
4. Apply the gospel to specific parts of your life
Paul says in Romans 1:16 (GNT) " I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God's power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles." The gospel is power to answer every problem you face today. This Holy Week you can take the time to apply the gospel to a certain area- lack, sickness, insecurity or fear- that is challenged today.
At the heart of seasons such as this is an opportunity to rest. And it goes beyond just physical rest (although that's important). God wants us to find rest for our souls. Jesus once said that this kind of rest comes as we come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30). As we approach Christ this Holy Week, seek His restorative rest.