During Holy Week, those of us who are following Jesus to the cross race through so many emotions. We begin on the high of a celebration as Jesus enters Jerusalem, riding on a donkey with cloaks and palm branches thrown at his feet.
At Glade on Sunday, we had a palm parade of our own, laying the palms at the front of the sanctuary as we sang and shouted, “Hosanna!” Then, we continued to follow Jesus to the cross, reading scripture and bringing forward other objects to remind us what happened to our Lord on the way to his execution. This week, as you look at this picture, may you be reminded of who Jesus was, what God has endured so that the way of Love might win, and who God calls us to be as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
May the ornate bottle remind you of Mary’s gift to Jesus as she anointed him with overwhelmingly expensive ointment, preparing him for his death and burial. What do we have to give to Jesus that is as precious to us?
May the sword remind us that Jesus turned away from violence even though he knew that violence was about to be hurled upon him. He told Peter to put away his sword for that is not what Jesus had come to do. How do we, in our own actions and decisions, perpetrate violence on others, both those in our presence and those far away?
May the rooster remind us of Peter’s three time betrayal of Jesus as Jesus is taken before the Roman leaders and sentenced to die. How do we betray Jesus on a daily basis?
May the rope remind us that Jesus was tied up, taken away, and treated like a common criminal. How do we bind those around us with ropes of prejudice or hatred because of who we think they are, not who they really are?
May the crown of thorns remind us of the horrible violence Jesus withstood because he new he must. He was beaten, stripped, spat upon, and cursed. How do we perpetrate violence on others because of our own actions and decisions, those right in front of us and those far away?
May the sponge remind us that one soldier, in a mocking gesture, raised a sponge filled with vinegar to Jesus’ parched lips. When people call out to us in desperate thirst, hunger, and need, what do we raise to their lips, if anything?
May the cross remind us that Jesus was nailed onto the cross and lifted up to die there. He was beaten, broken, and alone when he breathed his last breath. Were you there?
May the rock remind us that some of his friends asked to take his body to be buried in a cave. They wrapped him in cloth and laid his body in the tomb. Then, they rolled a huge rock in front of the tomb. All was dark. All was dead. All seemed lost. Were you there?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?