By Cara Beth Smith
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, which was yesterday, and ends on Easter Sunday. This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 9th. This week marks the events that led to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Starting with Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters Jerusalem for the last time, crowds gather to see his entrance while waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!” Scriptures to read for Palm Sunday include: Matthew 21:1-11, Matthew 20:17-34, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19.
Between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, a lot happens in the life of Jesus. On Monday, Jesus is at the temple and he curses a fig tree (Matthew 21:12-22). On Tuesday, Jesus is questioned by religious leaders (Matthew 21:23-32). On Wednesday, Judas decides to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:1-16). Thursday, known as “Maundy Thursday” is when the Last Supper takes place (Matthew 26:17-29). On Good Friday, Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:1-61).
Different denominations observe Good Friday in different ways. According to an article by Fox News, “In the Catholic Church, no sacraments are to be celebrated on Good Friday, except for confession and the anointing of the sick. Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday; rather, a ‘service’ using pre-sanctified communion is often held, says the USCCB website.”
According to christianity.com, “Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it ‘of first importance’ that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, following what God had promised in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).”
Many people question why the holiday is referred to as “Good Friday,” considering it is a day of death and darkness. Jesus Christ was disrespected, ridiculed, tortured, and killed. However, the bad that happened on Good Friday is what made the good news of Easter possible.
When Sunday came, the stone was found rolled away from the tomb and Jesus was alive! (Matthew 28). Christians believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is known as the ultimate sacrifice that saves us from sin and death. According to an article by foxnews.com, “In the Catholic Church, the faithful are given the opportunity to renew their baptismal promises on Easter Sunday.” The article continued, “Outside a church context, Easter is typically celebrated with symbols of rebirth, including eggs and baby animals, as well as sweet products such as chocolates and candies.”