Holy Week - Necessary Sadness

Daniel 9:24-27 (ESV)

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

Josh McDowell in his book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, breaks down this prophecy and points out that if you use the 360 day prophetic year of the Jews, This prophecy fits the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem just before He is betrayed and crucified. So the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks of this prophecy are fulfilled in the original “Holy Week.” Jesus is proclaimed by all the people as “He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Palm branches are spread on the road, people put their coats down, to welcome the King of Israel riding on a donkey.

The “weeks” of prophecy are actually series of seven years. But then within an actual week, the Chief Priests get one of Jesus’ followers to betray Jesus, and they pay him thirty pieces of silver. On Good Friday, Jesus is “cut off” by crucifixion.

We call this week between Palm Sunday and Easter, Holy Week, and we use it as a way to focus on the various aspects of Jesus’ last week here with His disciples. One of the Gospel writers puts the time that Jesus purged the Temple of the money changers during this week. He teaches in the Temple Courts, yet no one tries to accost Him. They wait until Judas betrays Him on the evening after the Passover. When Jesus goes out to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas goes and gets the soldiers.

There is no surprising Jesus. He already knew what Judas was up to. In fact, He tells Judas to go get it done. Jesus’ purpose on this earth was to pay for our sin. And although I am grateful, it fills my heart with sadness, because my sin caused Jesus to have to go through this. My sin, your sin, all of our sins.

Jesus paid our penalty. He guaranteed that we can have forgiveness and spend eternity with Him.

So as we celebrate Holy Week, and Easter, let us remember that our freedom from the punishment deserved by our sin, has been guaranteed by the one, eternal sacrifice of Jesus. He was the true Passover Lamb. The ones eaten by the Jews year after year, was a type (a foretelling) of His sacrifice.

So let us celebrate. Let us rejoice. Easter is just around the corner. Yes we have to get past Good Friday (not really–but symbolically) but Easter Sunday – The day of Resurrection is coming!

by Virgil Stripes

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