Why Every Day This Week Is Holy

Christians should celebrate from Palm to Easter Sunday—and everything in between.

As a child, my twin and I would often stage elaborate bake-offs during the school holidays. One year, I made an Easter cake with three chocolate crosses and a crown of thorns. I drowned these elements in large pools of jammy blood.

Sure, it was gratuitously gruesome—and I’m not surprised my sister’s saccharine fluffy chick cupcakes were the favored choice. But from an early age, I have shirked the propensity to avoid the grittiness of Easter. To me, its bloodiness is the very reason the Cross brings so much hope.

Many Christians around the world will celebrate Palm Sunday this weekend to commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Some 2,000 years ago, crowds of Jews laid out palm branches on public streets to welcome their “Messiah”—the conquering king who they believed would overthrow the Roman government and liberate them from its hostile occupation.

While many oppressed people today still desperately need this kind of physical deliverance, Jesus’ journey did not end there. Instead, his road to Jerusalem culminated in the Cross, which brought an entirely different kind of liberation.

Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week, the days leading up to Jesus’ betrayal, death, and resurrection. It is a period from the ancient church calendar when Christians look forward to the victory of Easter Sunday with joyful anticipation.

But it is also a time of great sorrow—marked by suffering, betrayal, and brokenness. And because of this, it speaks powerfully to those whose countries, relationships, or mental health situations are increasingly unstable. In a world desperately in need of hope, we cannot just brush past the anguish of Holy Week and …

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