This is called Holy Week, and the very name begs us to consider holiness itself.
Holy Week is intended not only to remind us of Jesus' journey in that climactic week, but to prepare ourselves again to follow him.
Prepare yourself now in the words and thoughts ahead.next >
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head.
Mark 14:1-3next >
Today we enter Holy Week, that time when the church remembers events leading to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Holy Week brings those moments close to us. It is a time of preparation.
In today’s text, the folks around Jesus were preparing, weren’t they? His enemies were getting ready to kill him “by stealth,” plotting in secret so their actions against the popular rabbi would not cause riots from his supporters.
It was nasty business. Jesus was controversial and popular all at once. He still is.
Jesus’ friends were getting ready too, preparing him for the rough days ahead. A nameless woman showed up, anointing his head with oil, a first century sign of honor and respect. This Holy Week, I hope we are staying close to Jesus, even when it is dangerous.
Bill Leonardnext >
Help me, O God, to prepare myself to walk through Holy Week with Jesus. Amen.next >
Prepared as you are,
Follow now your Lord,
Who goes ahead of you
To make ready the way,
To show you how to walk
This dark path.
Trust him to know where he leads you.
Bill Leonard is a professor of Baptist studies and church history and religion at Wake Forest University, where he is the founding dean of the School of Divinity.