CHEROKEE COUNTY — For millions of believers throughout the world, Holy Week is considered the high point of the Christian year, because they recall the series of events in Jesus' life that began with a welcome embrace and ended with his death by crucifixion.
“Holy Week is one of the high points for us, because without the crucifixion and the resurrection, there would be no such thing as Christianity,” explained David Hallum, pastor of Afton Grove Baptist Church in Jacksonville.
Between the two, Christmas sometimes seems to be the more popular Holy day, and “part of that is from the commercialism that's rampant at Christmas. It's become such a commercial holiday that the religious part of it is overshadowed,” Hallum pointed out. “It's the opposite with Easter, where the religious aspect actually drives the holiday.”
This belief is echoed by Dr. Ray Pritchard, president of the Internet-based “Keep Believing Ministries.”
In a blog published on the site www.crosswalk.com, he points out that “the whole Christian life is to be lived in Holy Week.
“We move constantly from Palm Sunday to Good Friday to Easter Sunday,” he blogs. “Sometimes we are in one place, sometimes in another. And to understand the Christian life, we need to stand back and see the whole.”
Hallum suggested reading the Bible chapters Matthew 26-28 for a deeper insight into Holy Week.
“That's the whole ball of wax right there,” he said. “It delineates Jesus gathering his disciples together, giving them communion, his being arrested, being crucified, and then his resurrection. And at the end of Chapter 28, he gives the Great Commission.”
Throughout Cherokee County, different churches and organizations have planned events to commemorate Holy Week and Easter.
During Holy Week, the Jacksonville Ministerial Alliance will sponsor a daily noon event featuring music, lunch and a spiritual message at St. John's UMC, 2020 Beaumont St. Area churches will take will take turns presenting the program, and donations will be collected for HOPE.