One of the greatest romantic comedy movies of all time is “When Harry Met Sally.” In the movie, Billy Crystal’s character has a quirk where he reads the last page of a book first so that if he dies before he finishes the book, he knows how it ends.
Sometimes I wonder if that is how we deal with Holy Week, this week of the church year from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. We know the end of the story, Easter Sunday, where Jesus rises from the dead. But we often forget about what occurs before then. We forget about Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. We read the last page of the book before we know the whole story.
But it is the details of the story that make the ending richer and more meaningful. I can find out the score of a game, but if I don’t watch it or read about what happened to get to the final score, I don’t appreciate the win as much. Think about the Badger win over Arizona to get to the Final Four. It was a seven point win. Yet, if I didn’t see the game or read about it, I wouldn’t know that the Badgers were down at halftime and that they had a remarkable second half to win the game. It makes the win even more impressive.
Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the final victory over sin, death, and the devil. But it means even more when you realize what happened to get to Easter. The gift of his body and blood through Holy Communion. Betrayal. Denial. Trial. Beatings and mockery. Crucifixion. Death. So much that occurs that makes the ending even more amazing, fulfilling, and important.
I invite you to come and experience the whole story this week. Join us for worship on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 pm. If you can’t join us, read the story from the greatest book of all, the Bible. Start at Matthew 26:31 and read until you get to Matthew 28. Don’t just read the last page. Read the whole story. It makes all the difference.