Holy Week brings us to the end of Lent as we remember the final days before Jesus’ death. It is a dark time that is filled with sorrow and pain. In our own Lenten journey, perhaps we have endured some things that have brought us to our knees as we reflect on the heaviness that surrounds us.

The world is continuing to find its way through the pandemic and communities are dealing with heavy loss from not only the virus, but the mass shootings that plague our nation. It is a time of sadness for our world. Yet today I am reminded of the journey that Jesus took as he traveled to the cross.

I have a vivid image of Jesus’ journey as I have images from Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ seared into my mind. Jesus endured a level of pain that we will probably never endure. Not just physical pain, but emotional pain as he was taunted and people jeered at him on his walk to the cross. 

God knew this painful journey would happen and Jesus knew that his death was necessary to fulfill the promise. In order to save us, this journey filled with pain, terror, grief and despair was unavoidable. I think about my sins and the hundreds of ways I have gone against God. No matter how long the list is that I compile, the sins are forgiven without any need for discussion or explanation. Sometimes this realization is too much for me to comprehend and I am a pastor. 

Easter is a season of renewal and rebirth, filled with forgiveness. Even if we have not done a great job of keeping in relationship with the Divine, it is never too late to celebrate the joy of the Risen Christ.

Thanks be to God.