The following is a column I wrote that was published during Holy Week at Grandin Media:
I was 17 years old the first time I chose to really enter into the story Jesus lived during Holy Week.
That was the year I was given the opportunity to perform in a production entitled Love According to John: a longstanding Edmonton production which told the story of Jesus’ life, from the perspective of the beloved Apostle.
Often, as I imagine the big moments we celebrate this week – from Palm Sunday through the events of the Triduum – I am reminded of what it was like to be in those crowds and, in a way to witness what it might have been like to live it firsthand.
Given the limited actors available for this production, I found myself in the crowd cheering Jesus’ arrival on Palm Sunday, and later I was also in the mob calling for his death on Good Friday.
It’s quite likely that many citizens of Jerusalem in the first century had also found themselves in both crowds, leaving us to wonder how it is that those who shouted “Hosanna!” at the sight of Jesus were a few days later screaming “Crucify Him!”
That’s not the only striking change of heart we encounter this week. On the day known as “Spy Wednesday,” we hear how Judas Iscariot conspired with the chief priests to betray Jesus. Whatever was going on inside of Judas – the Gospels suggest that it may have been Satan’s influence (Luke 22:3-6) – I think it’s unlikely that his act of betrayal was the sudden and dramatic shift we see from the crowds.
I have to be honest with you: Judas’ story bothers me. It bothers me because he was called – audibly – by name to follow Jesus and to be one of the 12 Apostles. He saw Jesus’ most incredible miracles, and he heard the most memorable sermons.
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