Holy week is a week of so many emotions.
There is anticipation and excitement as Jesus is welcomed into Jerusalem by the crowds. There is anticipation and some defiance as they call out “Hosanna!” (which means save us) and use references to the messiah whom the prophets said would come and save the people. There is concern and confusion over dinner as Jesus tells the disciples about his coming betrayal and death, then shares bread and wine that he calls his body and blood. There is surprise and connection when Jesus takes on the role of servant to wash their feet and tells them to wash one another’s feet. There is fear and resignation as Jesus prays in the garden and is turned over to the authorities. There is horror as Jesus is beaten and tortured and more fear as he is interviewed by Pilate and King Herod. There is disappointment as most of his followers desert him and gratitude as some do not. There is despair and deep sadness as he is executed. There is grief as Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb.
Woven through it all, however, is hope. We know the end of the story. We know that death does not win in the end. We know that the love and faithfulness of God has transformed sorrow and despair into rejoicing and new life. It is true for Jesus and his disciples there in Jerusalem, and it is true for us here today. When we face the most challenging and difficult experiences and emotions that life brings, we are enfolded in God’s care and compassion and healing.
Hope and love will win. Every time.