Passion Week is the most significant week of our Christian calendar. It is filled with holy activities that begin with Palm Sunday and culminate with Resurrection Sunday.
These seven events are assembled in order to proclaim the Grand Opening of New Testament Christianity! Grace has prevailed and Heaven is open for business.
1. The Gates of the City were OPENED on Palm Sunday.
This first opening event took place on Palm Sunday. See Matthew 21:9-10. The gates of the earthly city of Jerusalem were opened and many were recognizing Him as a delivering king. They thought He was about to set up an earthly kingdom and set them free from Roman occupation.
This, however, was a foreshadowing of what was soon to come. Jesus has opened up the gates of that city whose builder and maker is God! The gates of that Heavenly City, the Kingdom of God, are now wide open for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord.
Let’s fast forward to Thursday of Holy Week.
2. The New Covenant was OPENED on Maundy Thursday.
This opening takes us to Passover. At the commencement of this Holy Sacrament, we are instructed in the New Covenant. Read Matthew 26:26-29.
Our New Covenant of grace was opened once and for all. However, this institution is only made complete by the following Good Friday openings. Let’s leave this Upper Room opening and head to the foot of the Cross.
3. The Savior’s side was OPENED on Good Friday.
John 19:34 says that “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” With His side pierced open, the blood of the New Covenant was spilled.
What amazing grace this is! The pure and innocent Lamb of God is being slaughtered for the filth and guilt of mankind. See 2nd Corinthians 5:21.
4. The Holy of Holies was OPENED on Good Friday.
Matthew 27:50-51 says, “Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.” What took place in the earthly tabernacle also took place in the Heavenly Tabernacle as the New Covenant was ushered in. See Hebrews 9:24.
The separation from God is now gone. “For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:14). We can now approach the throne of grace confidently and humbly make our petitions known.
5. The graves of saints were OPENED on Good Friday.
When the Savior’s sacrifice was complete it caused a dynamic disruption in the earth. Matthew 27:52 continues, “and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.”
That grave opening was prophetic in nature. Graves will one day soon burst open again! See 1st Thessalonians 4:15-18.
This opening takes us from the foot of the Cross to a borrowed tomb that would soon have a flashing vacancy sign.
6. The Tomb of Jesus Christ was OPENED on Resurrection Sunday.
The meaning of the resurrection is a theological matter, but the fact of the resurrection is a historical matter. From a Good Friday that broke the hearts of Jesus’ followers, we move to a solemn Sunday morning that’s about to turn into the most spectacular day of Christianity. See Matthew 28:1-2.
Joseph’s loaned out tomb was opened by an angel, but it wasn’t to let Christ out. It was to let us in and see that He has risen indeed. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is foundational to Christianity and belief in it is absolutely essential. Read 1 Corinthians 15:14-16.
Soon we find that our risen Savior is our ascended King and His resurrection provides us with the greatest opening of all.
7. The Door of Salvation was OPENED because Passion Week is complete.
The vacant tomb leads us to an open Heaven and we hear the Savior say, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…” (John 10:9). Jesus Himself is the door of salvation, but we must choose to enter the opened door and walk in.
Death, hell, and the grave were standing in front of the door. But we have a victorious Savior who says “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18).
Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, the Door of Salvation is open. Whoever will enter the Kingdom of God must go through this opening.
In summary, we ask “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). Yes, indeed, He has fulfilled every prophecy that pointed to His suffering and subsequent victory. Because of these events which took place nearly two-thousand years ago, grace has prevailed and Heaven is open for business.
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