Holy Week

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


IF WE Christians are to put something at the heart of our Holy Week celebration, it should be the commemoration of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

His passionate love for man led him to his agony and suffering. He was beaten, struck on face and head, spat on, scourged 39 times, crowned with thorns and made to carry his heavy wooden cross, unto which he was nailed. Truly, he was brutally tortured, that he became disfigured more than any other man (Isaiah 52:14).

On the cross he gave up his Spirit, thereby experiencing death. From there he descended into the Hades and preached to human souls.

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On the third day he resurrected. From death, he went back to life, showing himself to his apostles, disciples and many others, and teaching them how these events fulfilled the Divine plan as foretold in the Scriptures, and how by their occurrence, God’s blessings were poured out on all believers.

Yes, Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection reconciled man to God. Because Jesus was the only sinless man who ever lived, the offering of his life was the only acceptable sacrifice to the Father capable of serving as substitute for the punishment that we all deserve for our sins.

Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament were only shadows of this once and for all sacrifice for the atonement of sins. Jesus shed that innocent and perfect blood, showing God’s justice on one hand, and mercy on the other.

Not only that. By his suffering, Jesus took our infirmities and diseases. He paid the price, even for the sicknesses that were the earthly physical consequences of our sins. “By his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

In his resurrection, Jesus conquered death. By rising again, the Lord set the pattern that all Christians will follow. Yes, it is appointed that we shall all die, but we are comforted with the thought that we will not stay in our graves. For a believer, to be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We close our eyes on our final breath in this world, only to open them again to behold the beauty of the Lord in our permanent dwelling place in heaven. And on the Lord’s return with the saints in heaven, as he promised, the sound of his voice will resurrect all the dead ? those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

All these were made possible by what happened on that first Holy Week ? the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God, the Savior of the world. May we hold dear these treasures of our faith. A blessed week to one and all.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 17, 2014.

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