Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter are on our minds this week. Along with Easter bunnies, new outfits, and Easter egg hunts. Flowers are finally blooming, and the earth seems pregnant with spring. Anticipation and joy pervade the atmosphere.
But I wonder: What was Holy Week like for Jesus? What were His emotions? What was He really feeling?
Palm Sunday: The great parade into Jerusalem. Palm branches and cloaks laid out on the parade route, a crowd of disciples joyfully praising God and singing “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.“ (Luke 19:38)
Hope, joy and expectation filled the hearts of his followers.
But what about Jesus?
He alone knew what was to come.
I imagine that He felt:
Sad because He knew He was going to disappoint many people.
Isolated because no one else really understood what was going on in His life, how hard it was.
Disappointed because he was about to be betrayed by Judas, a disciple with whom he had spent the last 3 years.
Discouraged because one of His best friends, Peter, was going to deny he even knew him, not once but three times.
Distraught because in his hour of agony in the garden when he asked his best friends, Peter, James and John, to stay with him and pray for him, they fell asleep.
Extremely lonely because no one stood by him except one thief on the cross in the last hours.
Dirty because he who was perfectly pure was to take our worst sins on the cross in order that we might be forgiven.
Forsaken by His heavenly Father. This, the ultimate pain. Complete desertion.
Finally, Resurrection Sunday came; His emotional turmoil ceased.
It was finished.
On that Good Friday Jesus died taking all of our nasty sins on his completely pure shoulders, in order that we might be forgiven.
On Easter Sunday He rose again, conquering death so that we might have life everlasting!
Most often we consider the physical pain of the cross, but rarely do we consider the emotional pain that Jesus suffered on our behalf.
In Hebrews 2:17-18 and Hebrews 4: 14-16 we find a rich insight into the emotions of Jesus. Simply put, these verses explain that Jesus, as God made man, experienced everything that we will experience, yet was without sin.
Do you ever find yourself thinking, No one understands how hard “this” is, how lonely I feel, how disappointed I am, how forsaken I feel.
But there is one who does: Jesus.
Whatever you are feeling now, Jesus has also felt. He gets you and me. It is because of this that we can draw near Him with confidence so that we will receive mercy and find the grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4: 16).
This Holy Week use your imagination to consider the emotions of Jesus. Doing this will increase your appreciation of what He has done for you. You will be reminded of the only one who can completely empathize with you at any given moment. The only one who can truly comfort. It will give you a richer insight into the power and passion of this week and a greater understanding of His sacrifice, which was not just physical but also emotional.
“Great is our Lord and mighty in power. His understanding has no limit.”