Holy Week is a huge mix of things to our nation’s culture. To many, it’s a time to take long vacations with family and friends. To some, it’s a quest to complete a tradition by performing a set of religious duties. Yet to others it’s just another set of red letter dates for the year.
But as disciples and followers of Christ, what is now to be a Biblical worldview of the Holy Week? What are some lessons that we can learn from the Lenten season?
Lent as a Means To Earning God’s Favour?
It all starts with understanding what lent stands for. To various religious sects, lent is a six-week period in between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. The season is marked with sacrifice and self-discipline. There is a period of self denial. It’s not uncommon for people to fast, pray more, stop smoking or try to limit swear words during the Lenten season.
And these are all wonderful practices with great physical and spiritual benefits. But like everything in life, we must go back to the core of the practice. What is the reason why we do the things we do? Why do we fast, pray or do good deeds not just during Holy Week but at any point in our life?
Why do we fast, pray or do good deeds not just during Holy Week but at any point in our life?
Everyone of us have at one point or another fallen for the act of doing good deeds to earn the favour of God. We serve in the ministry, give our tithes or abstain from certain things thinking that God will love and favour us more if we do.
But if there’s anything we can pick up from the Gospel is that God’s treatment of us has very little (or even nothing) to do with our stature. If it were then we would all fail His standard. Romans 3:23 (ESV) reminds us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
God’s favour comes not by what we do or do not do. It comes as a result of what Christ has already done for us on the cross. And all our good works and deeds are now a result- not a root- of God’s love and favour.
It is Finished
Hebrews 9:28 tells us, “so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” The Gospel assures us that Christ’s sacrifice was more than enough to cleanse us of all our sin and the consequences they bring if we simply put our faith in Him.
When Jesus said on the cross that “It is finished,” what He meant was that the work of justifying us from our sin and giving us access to the Father and His love was now completed once and for all.
As a result, we can now all approach God with confidence knowing that Christ has bridged the gap. Christ’s sacrifice was more than enough. So this Holy Week, take the time to reflect upon Christ’s finished work and what benefits they now bring. This will consequently cause us to respond in gratefulness and thanksgiving for what Christ has done for us.