Weekly Update – 24th March

This Sunday is Palm Sunday when we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  People were cheering.  Seeing Jesus as the one who would drive the Roman occupation out.  It is the start of a series of events on the journey to the cross and a very different turnout to what people including the disciples were expecting.  Palm Sunday beckons us to consider what are we expecting and hoping for in Jesus?

Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week and the events that are depicted in chapters 14 and 15 of the Gospel of Mark.   Each event, and each step of the journey to the cross, offers us an opportunity to reflect on what we will do with our knowledge of Jesus.

At the Last Supper (Mark 14.17-26) Jesus takes the Passover celebration and uses it to show his disciples what is about to happen to him.  Jesus takes bread and wine and asks them to remember him.  In this act we see Jesus as our Saviour who is in control even when suffering as his own life is ending. The remembrance of Him will sustain us in our darkest moments.

In the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14.32-42), Jesus asks the disciples to keep watch for him, yet they fall asleep.  Jesus is alone in His prayers and accepting what God is calling him to do.  What is God calling each of us to do and will we remain resolute and watchful?

When challenged in the courtyard of the High Priest (Mark 14.66-72), Peter denies knowing Jesus three times – despite his earlier commitment to defend Jesus.  The question is placed before us: Do we recognise, like Peter, our own weakness of faith and commitment at times.

Jesus is questioned by Pilate (Mark 15.1-15), who does not know what to do with Jesus.  Despite his power, Pilate just asks the crowds, “What shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?”. They answer, “Crucify him!” The question Pilate fails to face himself also confronts us: what will we do with Jesus?

As Jesus is crucified (Mark 15.21-39), we see people taunt him, but we also see a centurion who saw how Jesus died respond by saying, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”. The question is posed to us: How does our faith recognise Jesus for who he is?

True and humble king,

Hailed by the crowd as Messiah:

Grant us the faith to know you and love you,

That we may be found beside you,

On the way to the cross,

which is the path of glory. Amen.