Passion Week

April 6, 2023

The last week of the Great Lent ‘Passion Week’ is the commemoration of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ suffering for the salvation of human beings. They are the six days starting from Monday till Saturday of having their own name and meaning signifying the week; So we shall see them each.

Holy Monday (Anointing of Jesus) – on this day, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ cleansed it from those changers who were selling around it. He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:14-16)

Lord Jesus Christ then entered the temple and preached to the people, saying, “I love mercy more than sacrifice; I am the Lord of the Sabbath and her Father is merciful, The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Do not make my father’s house a place of Commerce’s; my house is a house of prayer.” (Matthew 12:7) Our Lord was praised by local children on this day. “After healing the blind and the lame who came to Him in the temple, the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did. and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” They were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.” (Matthew 21:14– 17)

Lord Jesus Christ cursed the fig tree also on this Monday. “Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.” Matthew 21:18–19)

Holy Tuesday (Predictions of Jesus)- It is the day which the Pharisees and Sadducees challenged Lord Jesus about matters regarding marriage in heaven, paying taxes to Caesar and the source of His authority. (Matthew 21:23-23:39, Mark 11:27-12:44, Luke 20:1-21:4)

Also on holy Tuesday, Lord Jesus clarified about bequest demonstrating the widow’s donation. “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)

On Holy Tuesday, Lord Jesus taught the disciples about His eight “afflictions” of the Olivet Discourse on the mount of olives. He told them all the signs that occurs before Judgement day. (Mark 12, Matthew 23:13-26, 24-25, Mark 13, John 12:20–36, Luke 21:5–36)

Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday/ Betrayal of Jesus by Judas)

This Wednesday varies sorrowfully and joyfully as well. This is to say first, Judas who was previously the disciples of Jesus but whom betrayed and discussed to sell Him to the Jews. He spied for the soldiers that led to His capture. This saddening but also the beginning for the marvelous work of our Lord Jesus’s salvation. If it were not for His capture and suffering upon the cross, He would not have been shown His love and scarification to the redemption of the world.

Maundy Thursday: – This is the Thursday of which Lord Jesus Christ washed the feet of the apostles. He did this as to teach them humility for He is the Lord of all who bowed to wash the feet of His creation. Therefore, our Holy Church commemorates it with Liturgy service where Priest washes the feet of the laities saying the prayer of thanksgiving. (John 13:1-20)

We Ethiopians also prepare ‘Gulban’ with split beans and wheat on this Thursday that exemplify Israelites who prepared unleavened bread on their journey to their homeland from Egyptian slavery by the leader of Prophet Mosses.

Gulban is eaten to mourn for Lord Jesus. It is also the custom of Ethiopians Christians to prepare split beans called ‘Nefro’ in memorializing the death of beloved ones.

Good Friday:- Good Friday is the holiday that Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified for the salvation of human race. He was beaten hard, spited on and dragged with a robe all the way through to Calvary.

After His capture betrayed by Judas on Thursday eve subsequent to His prayer in Gethsemane, the Jews took Him and started their torture. Early morning on this Holy Friday, Lord Jesus Christ was brought to trial in front of the Jewish leader Pilate. Convicted for a crime He did not commit, Lord Jesus was tortured and tormented until He reached to the Calvary for crucifixion. Upon it was revealed miracles including the darkening of the sun, the bleeding of the moon and the falling of the stars whilst Lord Jesus Christ separated His divine soul from His body at the ninth hour. Then after, Joseph and Nicodimus took His holy body and buried it.

Holy Saturday: – This is the Saturday where Lord Jesus went to hell and saved thousands of souls. It is known to be fasted for the commemoration of mourning of the death of our Lord as we don’t fast the other Saturdays. This being the reason for orthodox Christians to abstain from food until the ninth hour after midnight, that commemorates the resurrection of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Accord this work of Liturgy, we commemorate the passion week through the service of Holy Church, fasting, praying and much prostration for we shall be redeemed by the work of salvation.

May God accept our prayer, fasting and all our endeavors on the great lent and redeem us; Amen!