The images from the past few days have been horrific.
The president of Syria (allegedly) launched a chemical attack against his own citizens. From the comfort of our homes, we have a hard time imagining the horror. Then we see the photograph of a father cradling his lifeless nine-month-old twins and the footage of a man convulsing and foaming at the mouth.
On Palm Sunday, ISIS launched an attack against Christians in Egypt while they were celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Dozens of believers are dead and hundreds injured at the hands of terrorists. Instead of palm branches, puddles of blood fill the streets.
Our hearts sink at the inhumanity. We feel powerless to do anything about the tragedies halfway around the world. Guilt seeps in at how comfortable our lives are in comparison. Maybe we even ask, “What are you doing, God?”
How can we celebrate this Holy Week when everything seems to be going wrong in the world?
Well, these tragedies (and the tragedies in our own lives) are exactly why we need Holy Week.
When it seems like terror is winning, we need to see our Savior riding on a donkey as children shout their praises.
We need to see our Savior washing his disciples’ feet, giving them a new command to love one another. We need to see him at the Passover meal, giving a new meal of his body and blood through which we receive forgiveness.
We need to hear our Savior on the cross say, “It is finished!”
And we really need to hear the angels say, “He is not here. He is risen, just as he said.”
That is the only message that will give us any sense of peace, hope, and joy. It’s the only message that can let us truly say, “Happy Easter!” in the middle of terror, tragedy, and trouble.
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker.