The week leading up to Easter is traditionally referred to as Holy Week. It’s marked by many with special church services and personal observances of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the highlight of the Christian calendar celebrating the climax of Christ’s redemptive work here on earth.
Sadly; however, it can also be for many (by no mere coincidence I might add) a time of stress, busyness, distraction, desperation and even despair. I have found this to be true of any times in life where the gospel might best be enjoyed and on display, that the foes of God wage their greatest attacks against his family and friends.
The following are a few hopeful suggestions to help us better find happiness in him during this Holy Week.
1. Be diligent in thinking about Jesus more
“Jesus asked them a question, saying “What do you think about the Christ?” Matt 22:41-42
What are you thinking about Jesus today? What are you not thinking about him? Are they your own ideas or his? Are you influenced by culture or the bible? This is a good week to spend some quality time thinking diligently about Jesus Christ, being careful to allow him to speak for himself. Confess where you have made things up or assumed things to be true that aren’t. If we spend time pondering his person, work and love it will, in a Spirit dwelling heart, lead to our praise and adoration.
2. Be intentional about thinking of yourself less
“Love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34
Jesus on the night he was betrayed washed his disciples feet. He was going to be beaten and crucified beginning in a few short hours and he chooses to actively put others ahead of himself. He was loving his neighbor and fulfilling the law to love washing dirty feet with water and then ultimately washing unclean sinners with his blood. There are considerable demands upon us in life. Let us choose wisely which are serving us and which are representing him. Consciously choose to serve others this week and readily share the gospel with people this week. You will be brought to believing the gospel more yourself.
3. Be disciplined at creating a Holy Hunger
“After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry” Matt 4:2
What do you do when you are going to go up against the devil? What does a Christ Follower do to fill themselves with more of God and less of the themselves and the world? We fast. Holy Week is a great time to fast. Many of you have been fasting in some way during this season of Lent, abstaining from things that distract, and creating a hunger and thirst for the Lord. What is something you regularly give yourself to during the week that you could replace with time in scripture and prayer? What, if you gave it up between now and Easter would you miss? What might cause you to feel or crave physically? What would create a hunger in you that could be satisfied with spiritual things instead – Food, TV, Internet? Why not skip a meal this week or read your bible instead of watching your favorite show? How could you feed your soul in anticipation of the resurrection. I bet the discipline of doing so will benefit you more than the thing you gave up.
4. Be deliberate about Feeding on the Gospel
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103
If we are going to pursue creating more space for God in our hearts and minds this week it’s best to fill it with the gospel, or it will get filled up by something else. This is a great week to read the gospel accounts of Jesus’ final week. Start in Matthew and read through John all the stories of what happened from the time Jesus entered Jerusalem through the events leading to the cross and following his resurrection. Take time to read, reflect and respond to what God reveals to you.Another thing is to know what what your church is doing this week to celebrate Easter and get involved with them. Attend prayer meetings and worship gatherings, celebrate and sing at the special services being provided. They are not just doing these things to keep you busy and entertained, but hopefully to awaken and nourish your soul. If you’re not part of a local bible preaching, bible believing church what a great week to find one. And as a side note, If the church you attend is doing nothing to celebrate Jesus this week, might I lovingly suggest you find another one that is. No one needs more empty religion. We need Jesus – risen, alive, ready and wanting to save, heal and serve you.
I’m a little late with this post I know. But there is still time to ready our hearts for the weekend, and who knows maybe even spark some Holy Habits for the next week as well.