Many have asked why we refer to these seven days as Passion Week? In Latin the word “passio” means suffering. The middle English word passion (which is derived from the Latin) means: that which must be endured, suffering. Therefore, when we talk about Passion Week, we talk about the suffering which Christ must have endured in order to free mankind. It’s a powerful word picture for the week of Christ’s suffering on our account.
As you read through the Scriptures this week, bear in mind that Christ is intentional in His march toward the cross. This is something He must endure. He did not enter into this journey haphazardly, but on the contrary He willingly laid down His life.
I have chosen five vignettes of the Passion week. We begin with Christ’s journey into Jerusalem and conclude with Christ’s death on the cross. Although the Scripture we read is one of suffering — for us it is a story of redemption and victory! I encourage you to take moments of time this week and spend them reading, reflecting and praying. As you do I pray that that Jesus Christ will reveal more of Himself to you and give you a greater burden to share His glorious good news.
Would you do me a favor this week?
Ask God to lay on your heart one person you would invite to church this Easter Sunday. And then — invite them. Remember we will be offering two services this Sunday one at 9am and the other at 11am. I am so excited about Easter and look forward to people hearing the wonderful message of God’s great news!
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!Behold, your king is coming to you;righteous and having salvation is he,humble and mounted on a donkey,on a colt, the foal of a donkey.10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem;and the battle bow shall be cut off,and he shall speak peace to the nations;his rule shall be from sea to sea,and from the River to the ends of the earth.
1As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”4This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,5“Tell the people of Jerusalem,‘Look, your King is coming to you.He is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt.’”6The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. 7They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.8Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David!Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the lord!Praise God in highest heaven!”10The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.11And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”12Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”14The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”But the leaders were indignant. 16They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” 17Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
Jesus knew what was going to happen in a few short days, yet he still receives the praises of the people. He rides in on a donkey (a symbol of peace) instead of a war horse. It’s a clear image to the Jewish people that He is coming to bring peace. The peace He brings is not the peace the people are expecting. They are desirous of peace in their nation, but Jesus came to bring a greater peace — the peace between God and Humanity. This reconciliation was a rescue plan set in motion by almighty God thousands of years before! No greater peace could be imagined yet the disciples and the crowd knew nothing of the mysterious plan hidden from ages past.