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Holy Week

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the seventh and final day of Holy Week. Jesus’ body is in the garden tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, where he and Nicodemus had prepared the body with a mixture of myrrh and aloes, and wrapped it in strips of linen. Guards are posted in front of the tomb at the request of the chief priests and Pharisees, and a seal is placed on the stone. We can imagine that the disciples are paralyzed by both grief and fear over the events of the past week. It is only a......

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Good Friday

Good Friday is the sixth day of Holy Week. After Jesus’ betrayal in the garden, he is dragged before a Jewish tribunal led by the high priest, Caiaphas. They place him before Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judea, to pursue a death sentence. After Pilate’s questioning, Jesus is sent on to Herod, who then sends him back to Pilate. Having declared that his kingdom is “not of this world,” Jesus is beaten, scourged, rejected by the crowd that welcomed him on Palm Sunday morning, and finally sentenced to the excruciating torture of crucifixion.......

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Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday) is the fifth day of Holy Week. Jesus gathers with his disciples in an “upper room” (a room that would have been a large, second floor hall filled with dining furniture for the occasion) to celebrate the Passover meal. At this meal, Jesus institutes the breaking of the bread (his body), and the passing of the cup (his blood), a sacred action that became the church’s central act of worship for the past few thousand years – the Eucharist (or communion). From here, he and a......

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Holy Wednesday

Holy Wednesday is the fourth day of Holy Week. On this day, church history remembers two very different responses to Jesus. The disciple Judas is remembered as the betrayer of the Lord to his captors. His loss perspective, love of money, and ultimate suicidal path are iconic of those whose “treasures” are misguided. His lack of ability to “rightly value” his Lord precipitates the psychological disease that marks a life distant from God. Mary, however, is quite a different story. John 12 tells us that it is she who pours a “pint of......

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