This is called Holy Week, and the very name begs us to consider holiness itself.
This 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 >
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
Mark 14:12-16next >
The disciples were preparing too. Holy Week connects us to the Passover, that ancient Jewish festival recalling the escape from Pharaoh, and the journey to the Promised Land. At Passover, Jewish families gather for a meal that reminds them of God’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery. The meal begins when the youngest child asks the question: “Why is this night different from every other night?” Then the family retells the story.
The meal itself is full of memories — unleavened bread recalls a hasty retreat, so fast there was no time for bread to rise. “Bitter herbs” suggest the pains of slavery, and the lamb recalls an escape from death. Passover was at hand, and Jesus sends his disciples to find a place for them to share the sacred meal. For us, Good Friday and Easter are near; what will we remember?
Bill Leonardnext >
O God, I remember Jesus. Help me never to forget. 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.