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Spiritual Wing - The Holy Week of Easter

Daffodils, sunshine and chocolate eggs! That is what Easter might mean to most people. However to Christians it is a time to remember the last week of Jesus’ life. This is called Holy Week and it signals the end of Lent, the traditional time of fasting in the Christian calendar.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, (the Sunday before Easter Sunday) when Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus travelled into Jerusalem on a donkey and many people gathered to catch a glimpse of him waving palm branches as he rode by shouting “Hosanna” which means “Save us now”. In Christian churches now on Palm Sunday , the congregation are given palm leaves that have been blessed by the priest.

The next important day of Holy week is Maundy Thursday when Jesus gathered together all his friends and followers for the Passover meal which is now called “the Last Supper”. As this was the last time Jesus would eat with his disciples before his crucifixion. At this meal Jesus told his Disciples that they should love one another –This was a mandate or command from which the term Maundy is derived. It was on that night that Judas betrayed Jesus to the Roman soldiers who were to execute him on “Good Friday”.

On Good Friday Jesus was taken before Pontius Pilate who asked the crowd of people whether Jesus should die as he had made claims about being the son of God. The crowds said he should be crucified. This method of execution was one of the most brutal known to man and this is why the cross is so significant to Christians and is behind the tradition of eating hot cross buns on Good Friday.

It is reported that as Jesus took his last breath the sky turned black. His body was removed and placed in a sealed tomb. The services in Christian churches on Good Friday are very solemn and retrace the steps of Christ to his crucifixion.

Jesus told his disciples in advance that he would rise again on the third day after his death. He had been buried in a tomb with a large boulder to seal the entrance. On the third day some women came to visit his grave and found that the boulder had been removed and his body was gone. A few days later when his disciples were meeting in a locked room Jesus came to them to show that all that he had said was true.

Easter Sunday is a day of great celebration for Christians as by Jesus showing himself it proves that he is with us always.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died for all of us so that all our sins could be washed away on Easter Sunday . When he rose from the dead it was a sign of rebirth and a new beginning for everyone to start afresh, to live our lives in loving one another as he had commanded.

Carol Griffin