The significance of Holy Week .


The majority of Christians across the globe refer to the week that begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday, as “Holy Week”. We follow Jesus from his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday to his cross, death and burial  and his glorious resurrection.


During Holy Week we at least observe the Palm Sunday celebration, Tenebrae Service on Maundy Thursday and our Good Friday services .


And then the high light is the festive celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.


Because “holy” means that something is set apart for God, Holy Week can only belong to the celebration of God and his Christ by remembering the central truth of the gospel that only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, saves us from our sins by his atoning death and victorious resurrection.


Why celebrate Palm Sunday? (Some Christians call it Passion Sunday)

Palm Sunday is a universal Christian feast celebrated on the Sunday before Easter Sunday, as the first service of Holy Week. This day commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on the Sunday before his arrest.

The entry is mentioned in all four Gospels, which indicates significance ascribed to it in the church during the times when the Gospels were written. (Mark 11:1–11, Matthew 21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19).

During Palm Sunday services palm branches are processed into church, songs that hails Jesus as Saviour and King are sung and we celebrate that the perfect, unblemished Lamb of God arrived at the altar on Golgotha to be slaughtered during the Jewish Passover, to die for our sins and set us free to serve in the Kingdom of God.


What are Maundy Thursday and the Tenebrae service? “Maundy” comes from the word “mandatory”, referring to the command Jesus gave his disciples on the night he was betrayed to “do this in remembrance of me” when he instituted his Holy Supper after he washed the feet of his disciples. “Tenebrae” describes the darkness of that night when Jesus experienced the anguish and fear of Gethsemane and was arrested and tried by the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman political authorities.

It was the night when he was betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter.


Tenebrae (Latin for 'shadows',  'darkness' or ‘night’) is a unique commemorative liturgy contemplating the suffering of Christ by the gradual extinguishing of candles, Scripture readings and teaching on the significance of the Passion of Christ  How can we ever truly see his love, if not within the context of the severity of his sacrifice?


At the Tenebrae service we recreate the emotional aspects of the passion events. It is not a happy service, because the night remembered is a dark, solemn one, when our sins caused the Son of Man so much affliction and distress in our place.

It is an incomplete service, only to be completed on Easter Sunday.


Good Friday.

Good Friday is a solemn day of remembrance because both the sins of the world and our personal sin caused the punishment, death and suffering of our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Although Good Friday is a somber commemoration, it is not without its own joy, for while we want to contrast the joy of Resurrection to the solemn sadness of Good Friday, the gravity of Good Friday is a prophecy of the hope of Resurrection Sunday. We always observe Good Friday, well knowing that Sunday is coming!

Traditionally many Christians remember the words Jesus said on the cross on Good Friday...


Resurrection (Easter) Sunday is the glorious crown of all Christian worship that inspires every Sunday worship service of the year, where we are equipped to live for the glory of God every day of our lives, until the end and at the end! You could call it “the most important Sunday of the year”. We should all call it the most inspiring Sunday Worship one can celebrate!

Resurrection Sunday, and therefore every Sunday, is a feast of worship and praise, because Jesus triumphed over death and all our enemies.


Pray every day of Holy Week that:

God will bless every service in our own church and amongst every Christian community in the world.

That Christ will call many to receive the Gospel.

That our love for Jesus will be enthused and that God and worshipping him will be the priority of every Christian in the world – far beyond anything else we could plan for or do this week.

That after we commemorated these blessed days, our lives will show the love and mercy of God in the work of Jesus Christ celebrated and remembered!

That Jesus Christ, and only Jesus, will be celebrated.


Matthew 26: 40 and 41: In Gethsemane Jesus returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

Let’s keep watch with Jesus....