Most often that not, we usually consider this particular week of the year a solemn one as we contemplate on the events of Jesus' death and resurrection. Some may believe that this is a time of the year when we can act a little better than we have been, and try to please God with whatever "good" we can do to the best of our abilities.
Most of our attempts on "holiness" involves trying to do "good" during this time of the year, and for some it means trying to meet all the expectations of the church as to what to do and what not to do during the entire week.
Many of us will be sincere in our attempt to make Holy Week more holy this year. We probably will find ourselves trying hard to be more pleasing to God by praying more often; abstaining from doing what we love to do for the entire week; attempting to forgive those who have hurt us; becoming more generous to those in need; going to church more often that we usually do; spending more time with our families in order to show them we love and appreciate them; attempting to get rid of bad habits; sacrificing the things we hold dear such as getting on facebook, surfing the net, watching TV, going to the mall and the like for the entire week.
There's so much we attempt to do in order to have an amount of "good" in us during the Holy Week. Most of us will find our sincerity get the better of us and be able to have us become a better person during the Holy Week to say the least.
That's really a wonderful thing to do in order to celebrate the Holy Week, but there's more to it than that. We can be sincere in everything we actually do for the Holy Week, but we can be sincerely wrong with means to our goal.
The Word of God clearly states that we are ALL under SIN, we are ALL sinners...
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" (Romans 3:10)
Jew or Gentile, God's Word convicts us all as unrighteous. There is no one exempted. There is no one pleasing before God. This is why we find most of us attempting to do good in this lifetime, and especially during the Holy Week, order to at least be pleasing to God. Many of us will convince ourselves that we MUST be good, we must do good in order to gain God's approval of us and at least find ourselves pleasing before the LORD. We all try to do what's "good" in the hopes of getting into heaven later on in life.
My dearest, I know we want to get to heaven by doing all the good we can possibly do before leaving this earth, but please allow me to share what God's Word clearly states regarding our good works...
"But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6, emphasis added)
It's a matter of believing that the Bible is the Word of God or not. If we do believe that it's the Word of God then we must not continue to deceive ourselves that our good works (or our "righteousness") will suffice to meet God's requirement of being holy and pleasing before Him. The Word of God makes it clear that ALL our good works are as filthy rags before God. Worse, there is not a chance that a sinner like us will ever be in Heaven to live for eternity with God because God's Word is also clear that the payment for the sin in us is death...
"For the wages of sin [is] death..." (Romans 6:23)
We might say, "But we all die, so that's our penalty there," and we believe that a loving God won't surely send anybody to hell. In case you didn't know, though, the Bible clearly states that there is a second death that finds its end in HELL...
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (Revelation 20:14)
I know that's difficult to accept and we all might say that this truth seems to be so unfair and that it leaves us all so hopeless! Oh, but let's be aware of what God Himself has said in Isaiah 45:21:
"Tell ye, and bring [them] near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? [who] hath told it from that time? [have] not I the LORD? and [there is] no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; [there is] none beside me." (KJV)
"Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me." (ESV)
When we believe in the God of the Bible, we must submit ourselves to this truth and this truth alone. No amount of our "good works" will ever suffice to make us "holy", let alone "holier"!
It is a vain attempt to try to get our own selves into heaven by doing what we think is "good"! Our Trying-Hard-Holiness doesn't meet God's requirement and demand of payment for our sin. No matter how sincere we are in following and doing every good work to a T, it will never get us to the place of being right with God nor will it ever have us land a place in heaven.
There is no sense in attempting to make this year's (or any year's) Holy Week more Holy for us because we will never be able to come close to becoming holy at all. Apart from what God has done, all our human effort counts to a zip when placed on God's fair and just judgment scale.
My dearest, let's not allow ourselves to drown in our trying-hard-holiness. This Holy Week, as we celebrate what God has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ, may we find the REAL and the ONLY Way to get right with God and get to heaven in the truths we find in God's Holy Word.
I invite you to follow me as we go through the Holy Week contemplating on what really is VITAL for our souls to realize and to find in order to get right with God and earn a place in heaven.
There is a HOPE we all can hold on to, you know. It's not a hopeless case. Just in case you have missed it above, God didn't only say He's a JUST God, but He as well made it clear that HE is a SAVIOR!
In Part 2 of this Holy Week Special, we will try to understand what this HOPE means and where it truly lies...