In our Holy Week reading of the Parable of Tenants, we see the startling revelation that the long-awaited Messiah—the One sent of God to accomplish salvation and liberation for his people—will be rejected by those very people.
And yet, this rejection was not limited to these religious leaders, or even to the ethnic group they represented. During Jesus’ Passion Week—which we meditate upon during this Holy Week—we see Jesus rejected at every level of his Creation.
On Palm Sunday, a large group accompanies Jesus, proclaiming his blessedness. This is not the group that later cries out to crucify him. Instead, it might be worse. These are people from the Jerusalem “suburbs” who have been receiving Jesus’ teaching for months. They accompany Jesus to Jerusalem, and then…. they just disappear, showing their ultimate apathy and indifference towards him.
On Monday, a fig tree doesn’t bear figs in its proper time. This is essentially Creation itself saying “No” to its Creator and rejecting him. Similarly, Jesus goes to the temple and cleanses it for how it has rejected the way God’s temple should function, as shown in Jesus.
Jesus spends Tuesday debating and arguing with leaders of his very own people, and they ultimately reject him. Wednesday is when Judas, one of Jesus’ closest friends, meets to betray and reject his Messiah.
On Thursday, after the Last Supper, in a garden dark and lonely, Jesus is abandoned by his disciples as they scatter out of fear. He is then subjected to a trial in which the very systems of justice that God had given humanity to steward are turned against their Creator for injustice.
On Friday, Jesus is crucified, mocked, scorned, and ultimately, in the final moment, he is rejected and forsaken by God Himself.
The week we find ourselves in is truly a tragic one to meditate upon. In it, we see the cornerstone of Creation itself rejected and abandoned by every single thread in the tapestry of reality, as well as the tapestry of our hearts. This is true evil, this is tragedy, and this is what it is to see our Sin put on display for the world to see.
But if sin has implications that reverberate to this depth within reality, how much more might Resurrection? Well, we’re almost there. But for now, let us mourn.
From the Liberti 2014 Lent & Easter Prayerbook.
[image credit: “Christ Carrying the Cross” by Hieronomous Bosch]