Holy Week Highlight Reel

Some of Our Best Articles on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.

Mockingbird / 4.4.23

Some of our best articles and finds over the years on this most sacred of weeks:

“Have a Token Lent” and Other Seasonal Suggestions from a Weary Jesuit

‘Each year we spend forty days pretending Jesus is going to die; we go hungry and grow — despite ourselves — angry; we prepare for what is going to take place. But it has, dammit, it has taken place. …’ From the journals of John L’Heureux

Projecting Our Way Through Holy Week

How do we know whether the Jesus we imagine, perhaps even the Jesus we love, how do we know if the beauty we find in him is truly there; how do we know we aren’t encountering our own projections?

Five Years of Grace and Bad Coffee: Sobriety and Holy Week

On Tuesday night of Holy Week, I sat under fluorescent lights at a plastic folding table and gripped a styrofoam cup of bad coffee. Around the room sat men from all walks of life. Respectable businessmen, craftsmen and laborers, men living in a residential rehab or halfway house, and me: a young clergyman who looks like he has it all together.

Maundy Thursday

Spiritual Podiatry

You could say that unlike most body parts, feet tend to be a source of commiseration rather than comparison, a body part that places us all on similar, er, footing. It’s no coincidence that Jerry Seinfeld once quipped about one of Elaine’s boyfriends, ‘He’s not a doctor, he’s a podiatrist.’

And no one tells a better foot-washing story than Sally Lloyd-Jones in The Jesus Storybook Bible, for which an animated version exists. God loves stinky feet, people:

The Servant King from Quirky Motion on Vimeo.

Destined to Fail: Sin and Providence on Maundy Thursday

The events of Maundy Thursday were tragic. And yet even the disciples’ colossal blunder is enveloped in the purposes of Jesus. In this brief narrative we are offered a small window into the hidden things we blindly grasp at. In the Garden of Gethsemane, human sin and divine action are strangely intertwined. Apostasy and divine providence are mysteriously coextensive with one another. Seemingly destined to fail, their sin was not an obstacle to God, but the very means by which He redeemed.

The Failure of Best Intentions (Mark 14:27-31)

To describe Peter’s defection, Jesus uses that horrible word ‘disown,’ which Peter will do not once but three times. What emotions fill Jesus’ heart at this moment? Surely deep disappointment and despair, but what else?

Good Friday

Francis Spufford’s Good Friday: Communication, Emotion, and Atonement

He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road.

“It Is Fulfilled” A Deep Dive Into Jesus’ Final Word on the Cross

As evocative as it might be, Jesus didn’t say “paid in full” with his dying breath … Rather than “paid in full,” “tetelestai” is better translated as “(the scripture) is fulfilled.” As the hourglass of Jesus’ life slowly drains towards expiration, a quick succession of events occurs that immediately recall the Old Testament.

Sharks in the Water: In the Event of a Failure (on Good Friday)

There’s talk of destiny-defining ‘exits.’ Of Jesus and his disciples: ‘The most successful startup in history!’ Of the parable of the talents, in which two servants are lauded by their master for turning a profit with money he staked them: ‘The first recorded instance of venture capital and investment banking in history!’

The Way to God Is the Way Into Darkness, a sermon from theologian Rudolf Bultmann

The way to God leads not to hell but through hell, or, in Christian terms through the cross. It leads us not to hopelessness but to a hope which transcends all human hope … This hell we must traverse; before the life of the resurrection stands the cross. “It is the essence of God” says Luther, “first to destroy what is in us before He bestows on us His gifts.”

W. H. Auden Was There on Good Friday

In my most optimistic mood I see myself as a Hellenized Jew from Alexandria visiting an intellectual friend. We are walking along, engaged in philosophical argument. Our path takes us past the base of Golgotha …

Easter Sunday

Easter Is God’s Great Yes to Earth

Easter is the day when God kneels down, kisses the earth, and says, “This is my soil. This is my creation. Not only is it still good, but I will make it even better.”

If Christ Be Not Raised

In Jesus Christ, God knows hunger and thirst and loneliness and pain. In Jesus Christ, God knows the human devastation of disease and poverty. And the first Christians are clear about this: the one human nature we all share has been rescued from death by the death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, not only for a moment but forever.

The Deconstruction of Easter, a sermon by Jacob Smith

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