One of the things that many people like about Easter is the opportunity to meet up with family and friends. And that can be a good thing—it’s important to keep in touch. But as I’ve been thinking about Easter this year, my focus has not been so much on friendship, but rather the reverse.
After all, if Palm Sunday was about Jesus positioning himself for the week ahead, then what we can see, as Holy Week progressed, was a focus away from his friends, and onto his enemies. Now that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have time for his friends—he did. But from the Sunday to the Thursday, the day of his arrest, he spent a lot of time being plotted against, and being confronted by those who had fallen away from God.
Now we probably don’t like to think about having enemies. However most, if not all, of us can acknowledge that we have had some from time to time. Indeed King David felt surrounded by them—they are a common theme of the seventy-three psalms which are marked “of David.”
But for Jesus, in Holy Week, his enemies (or in Hebrew: those who were hostile to him) were everywhere. And as the week progressed the confrontations with them became more intense. It was a situation he knew he had to face—there was a lot at stake. Not least of which was the need to challenge the enemies of God, and bring the message of salvation to the world.
Holy week, amongst other things, then, is a time to reflect on the enemies of the cross. It is also a time to reflect on our own response to those who are hostile to Christianity, as we walk the journey of faith to the New Jerusalem.
Posted: 12th March 2016
© 2016, Brian A Curtis