When faith is still a bit out of sorts, things like Holy Week can be complicated.
The story itself isn’t so complicated, in theory–Jesus rides into town on a donkey on Palm Sunday, he has his last supper with his disciples on Thursday and then is betrayed by one of his own, Friday he dies, Sunday he rises. There are complexities and nuances in there, of course, but those are the bare minimum details.
Why did he do all this, though? Who really killed Jesus–the Romans, or God himself by allowing this to (or making it?) happen? Did Jesus actually go to hell? How is salvation accomplished? In what order does salvation occur?
And if I haven’t fully figured out my answers to these questions, but instead can see how people arrive at different conclusions and appreciate those differences, does it make me a bad Jesus follower?
Not exactly the questions most people discuss over Easter dinner.
But every year, Holy Week invites us to experience the story of Jesus and ponder what he means to our lives. They’re all good, valid, complicated questions worthy of studying and discussing and revisiting time and time again. Yet, if I let myself get lost in them, I’ll miss the things I am sure of–or at least as reasonably sure as I can be.
I believe in Jesus.
I believe he was God and human, that he lived on earth, that he died but didn’t stay that way.
I believe that somewhere in that process, salvation was accomplished.
Salvation to set me free from the messy sinfulness of humanity I was born into, and that allows me to live for a purpose much greater than myself.
I believe much more than that, but for now, those three things. The whys whos hows and whats will always be there, and I can’t–and won’t–ignore them; but these three things I believe ground me. Everything else comes flows out of, and comes back to, these three. And mainly, Jesus.
Not that I follow him well every day, or even ever for that matter. But I believe in him with all of me that can, and I’ll keep coming back to that.
Til next time…
p.s. Does Holy Week get complicated for you?