Sunday, April 08, 2007

Musings on the Holy Week

We had the Lord's Supper sacrament on Maundy Thursday night. The church was full and it all started quietly in a hushed kind of way. As the bread and wine were served by solemn elders and ministers, the singing became more fervent and emotional. And as we sang of the sufferings of Jesus the night he was captured, tried and sentenced to death, I choked on "aw ka Lal, i lo kir leh tawh law'ng maw?", (oh my Lord, will you never return?) as scenes of a bloodsoaked Jesus staggering along the streets of Jerusalem on his way to Calvary from The Passion of the Christ came vividly to mind. Sweet catharsis.

A Hindu friend from Orissa once asked me why Good Friday was called good when Jesus Christ died on that day. It's hard for non-Christians to understand. I explained as best as I could about the whole concept of salvation and I think she was reasonably satisfied that Good Friday is indeed a "good" day for believers.

It’s Easter today, the most glorious day ever in history. But I never quite thought of it that way until after my mother died. When Easter rolled around after she'd left us, I only fully realised the implications of the resurrection of Christ and of death "swallowed up in victory". The entire chapter of I Corinthians 15 became the truest, most beautiful, most glorious thing I'd ever heard. Jesus died, and on Easter morning, rose again to lead the resurrection of the dead. Easter completes the cycle of salvation and redemption. And because of Easter, I know I shall meet my mother again.


He's Alive (Peter's Song)

The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hope of sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin' through
To drag us all away

And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
I hurried to the window
Looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches
And the sound of soldiers' feet

But there was no one there but Mary
So I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me
As she told me where she'd been
She said they've moved Him in the night
And none of us know where
The stone's been rolled away
And now His body isn't there

We both ran towards the garden
Then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb
Just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in
Was just an empty shell
And how or where they'd taken Him
Was more than I could tell

Oh something strange had happened there
Just what I did not know
John believed a miracle
But I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation
Couldn't lift me very high
'Cause I'd seen them crucify Him
Then I saw Him die

Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I'd promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn't be the same

But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With His arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried

Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I ever had
Just melted into peace

He's alive yes He's alive
Yes He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive yes He's alive
Oh He's alive and I'm forgiven
Heaven's gates are open wide
He's alive He's alive
Hallelujah He's alive.


  1. That's a beautiful reflection to read on Easter. I had a lot of flimsy excuses (it's too hot, I have work, I just went to church on Good friday etc) so I didn't even make it to church today :(

  2. Aww that's too bad. I tend to feel bereft when I can't attend church at times like this. It's hard to be regular now with my sister to keep an eye on at home but I love the social aspect of these big occasions too. Like seeing my one-time Sunday School kids all properly grown up, playing ushers, singing in the choir or with chubby little toddlers in tow. It's all such an enjoyable experience :)

  3. Easter greeting to you too dear J. Im so happy you had such a wonderful experience during this occassion. Praise be the Lord.

    For me, this song sums up everything I wanna say.

    1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
    the emblem of suffering and shame;
    and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
    for a world of lost sinners was slain.
    So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
    till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    and exchange it some day for a crown.

    2. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
    has a wondrous attraction for me;
    for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
    to bear it to dark Calvary.

    3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
    a wondrous beauty I see,
    for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
    to pardon and sanctify me.

    4. To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
    its shame and reproach gladly bear;
    then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
    where his glory forever I'll share.

    You can even listen to the midi file music and sing along with it at this site

    pretty fast even for poor dial-up like me :-)

  4. i went to the churh this Easter which was great .. and reading your blog makes it better callio..