This is Holy Week. A very important time for all Christians. It commemorates a time when the whole course of human history changed for ever. Yet in today's world, many people just remember chocolate eggs, good food and drink, and another excuse to be extravagant.
So what is it all about? This Easter celebration and this Holy Week?
I think one of the most important factors perhaps not often focussed on is forgiveness.
This week, it is right and proper, that we remember Christ's arrest, torture and cruel death by Crucifixion. And of course, His Resurrection three days later.
But there is more to it than that.
Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth so we might see Him as a human. We might listen to Him, learn from Him, witness His power through His miracles, love and compassion. But He also came to earth to build a bridge once again between sinning humanity and God its Creator. It is through Jesus that we find our way back to God.
At the heart of this week is forgiveness and mercy.
Jesus forgave the disciples for running away in fear when He was arrested. He forgave Peter for denying knowing Him. He forgave the crowd just as He was dying on the Cross for what they had done to Him. He forgave the repentant thief hanging on a cross just beside Him. I'd like to believe that He also forgave Judas who killed himself in despair for what he had done. We don't have any Biblical evidence of this last forgiveness, but let us remember that Judas was in a state of despair. He knew he had done wrong. He tried to return the money he received for betraying Jesus. He was sorry for what He had done. So I guess that an all-knowing God would have had pity on him at his darkest hour, just as He had pity on those who put Him on the Cross.
That's what's it all about. Forgiveness. Compassion. Love and Mercy.
Let us remember that when someone asks us for forgiveness. Or when we too need to seek forgiveness from God and others.