“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing” (
My daughter reminded me, Lord, of confusion surrounding this week. This week? Yes of all weeks, this is the most conflicting. I want to skip it all together, passing go and collecting the benefits without the pain. So did Jerusalem. They had traditions and rituals—taking Your feast of Passover and turning it into a spectacle—just as we have turned this week into little more than a spring fashion show and food fest.
Holy as the week was and is, they forgot…and I am prone to forget this time is not about us. It is all about You. What You, God, have done in ancient times; what You are about to do now. How could I forget, ignore or overlook how all Your moments connect through the ages? Why am I tempted to minimize past connections to this week and days yet to come all in the fullness of time?
My daughter remembers why—thank you, Shay. She pointed out to me a passage from my book The Singularity. At one point in the narrative, the main character and his friend narrowly escape death in an underground earthquake while exploring Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. When they emerge into daylight, they see a cliff with a large sign that reads: Golgotha Family Fun Park. The sign and the park are real places, written into the story to emphasize how bizarre a world we live in, where such a morbid part of spiritual history would be turned into an circus concept.
Of course there may be some reading this to whom the term Golgotha may be foreign. Indeed, I’ve found people in various Christian worship services I’ve attended who have scant understanding that it is the descriptive name used in Jerusalem for the hill on which Jesus was crucified. Golgotha means “place of the skull,” and the cliff face is assumed to be the site of Your crucifixion, Lord. Indeed, it does resemble the front of a skull when seen from certain angles.
What does this strange story and description have to do with this week? Absolutely nothing. However, the world has gone out of its way, Christians included, to tie importance, including sick entertainment value to the site in order to obscure the real purpose for this week. The real events are an advent unto themselves, a prophecy lived out as no other before or after.
To walk through the significance of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits, along with their ties to Your persecution, death and resurrection, Jesus would take volumes. Lord, please help me help others understand the real story is not in the if or the how of the benefits we are offered from Your sacrifice. The real tale is in Your decision to make and carry out such an extraordinary plan. No man, not even Hollywood’s finest, would have imagined it without the original inspiration.
I’m neither writing this to convince those who don’t believe nor trying to criticize followers (including myself) who treat these times so casually and irreverently. Rather, I want to encourage all of us to take one significant moment away from the business of life simply to read a small portion of Your New Testament. I know, lots of us have skimmed through it or heard it read in the past. Please, one more time or perhaps the first time, read a few chapters: Matthew 26, 27 and 28. If that catches your interest, also read a few chapters in the Old Testament: Exodus 11 and 12. You’ll probably ask, “What is the connection between the two readings?” Read each a second time, and the picture will start coming together.
Why would I take the time to ask others to do this, Lord? Because You have asked me to do the same, and I can ask no less of others I love. It may be a futile effort, but that’s my doubt speaking. My faith says it’s Your will for me to invite others to remember why the story is told. The rest is up to You.
Simple as that Lord, a strange testimony can turn into an amazing story not meant to entertain, but to change the life of anyone willing to be changed. I don’t have to explain how the story ends, because it doesn’t. That’s the wonder of it: new life offered to anyone willing to look beyond a broken world’s wretched attempts to explain away the never-ending love of a God longing to redeem His people. The why of remembering is all wrapped up in one beautiful statement that begins and ends in Your relationship with Your creation.