Thoughts on Holy Week: The Human Experience

star trekThe original Star Trek cast was an ensemble group of races and nationalities. Among them was the half human half Vulcan Mr. Spock. The conflict of the Spock character allowed the writers to explore some aspects of just what it means to be human. His desire was often to deny his humanity and become fully Vulcan, which he found difficult due to his human nature. Star Trek the Next Generation introduced us to Lt. Commander Data who, though a sentient being, was technically not even alive. The android character constantly worked to become more than his programming, finding that some aspects of humanity were always beyond his grasp. Data explored what it means to be human as he struggled to be more human, while Spock had worked to be less so.

Each Star Trek series had one or more characters that defined for the audience the human experience. Oto on Deep Space Nine was a shape shifter, meaning he could have chosen to be anything. Most of the time we saw him in human form, but the finer details eluded him. Voyager began with an Emergency Medical Hologram that became a principal character and later added Seven of Nine, who had been assimilated at an early age by the Borg. The Doctor was a program that resembled a human, Seven had been human and struggled to reconnect with her own culture.

How does a Holy God relate to a fallen, broken and sinful people? Jesus was the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1) in whom all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” A few years ago a pop song asked the question “What if God was one of us?” The simply answer to that is… he was. Jesus was born into a poor family of lowly means. He was much like any other baby; according to Luke 2 he increased in wisdom and stature as he grew up. Jesus did all the things people do; he ate when he was hungry, drank when he was thirsty, rested and slept when he was tired. He knew physical and emotional pain, and suffered at the hands of the very people he came to save. He wept at the tomb of Lazarus but also over the city of Jerusalem. “It is appointed unto man once to die” and Jesus’ life came to an early end on the cross at Calvary. Jesus lived as God with us and literally knows what you’re going through. 

This is Holy Week, also known as Passion Week. The week begins on Palm Sunday with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ends on Good Friday with Jesus being placed in the tomb. Next Sunday, in addition to Easter, is also known as Resurrection Sunday. Many Christians, and the posts on this blog, will spend the week focusing on the final words and teachings of Jesus. During those final days Jesus cursed the fig tree, observed his final Passover, instituted the Last Supper, washed the Disciples’ feet, shared with them some last words, and spent the night in prayer at Gethsemane.

Around this time of year the Jesus movies often run on television, and popular magazines usually run some type of Christianity tie-in cover story. Just remember that God’s truth is found in God’s Word. That’s where we as believers must keep coming back to. Spurgeon said to visit many books but live in the Bible. We’re going to do just that this week, then celebrate the resurrection.

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