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P a s s i o n   W e e k

 

How did The Suffering Start?

 

On Palm Sunday, the Lord Jesus Christ went to Jerusalem where He was gloriously received as a King: The people praised and cheered Him with palms, spreading their robes under His feet, and the whole city was in turmoil (Matt. 21:10). This annoyed the chief priests and the elders of the people: scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. They envied Him for the great love people felt for Him, so they started thinking of a way to get rid of Him! They were more upset when He entered the temple and expelled all who were buying and selling. They then asked Him, "By what authority are You doing these things?" (Matt.21:23). Since then they decided to kill Him, telling one another "Look, the world has gone after Him," (John. 12:19).

 
The chiefs' desire to kill the Lord Christ was due to their envy, but the puzzling thing is the change in the multitude's attitude; they received Him like a King, then shouted to Pilate, "Crucify Him, crucify Him! " (Luke. 23:21). When the crowds cheered Jesus, they looked at Him as an earthly King, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David" (Mark 11:9-10). But the Lord Jesus refused a Kingdom on earth, as His is a Heavenly Spiritual one. The plot to get rid of the Nazarene was then a natural reaction from the Chiefs who lost hope in the long awaited kingdom!!
 
The church considers the end of Palm Sunday Divine Liturgy the beginning of the Passion Week, as the plot to kill the Lord Jesus Christ started to develop since then.

During this week the Church acquires an atmosphere of mourning. It makes everyone feel that he is sharing in the Lord's sufferings, as said by St. Paul, "that I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings". (Phil. 3:10).
 

-Coptic Church's H.H. Pope Shenouda III, Thine is the Power and the Glory, p.9

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