There is a mountain range that I once got to hike in New Mexico called the Sangre de Cristo Mountains—the “Blood of Christ” Mountains. It’s an evocative name. The phrase “blood of Christ” is a phrase that many of us Christians have become so.
We think of Maundy Thursday often only in terms of the Last Supper. The fellowship, the foot washing, the lengthy “farewell discourse” in John’s Gospel including the “new commandment”, and, of course, the departure of Judas into the night. But Thursday was about more.
The Gospel reading for today is a challenging one. It centers on Judas’ impending betrayal of Jesus. The writers of Luke and John both attribute Satan entering Judas to help explain why he turned Jesus over to the authorities. For millennia people have wondered.
It’s finally Holy Week. Lent is over. In our church calendar, Jesus has processed into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The scene is set. Today is the final pause before the beginning of the Passion. Tomorrow is Spy Wednesday, or the day.
Palm Sunday would not be the same without a processional with palm branches and the singing of “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.” The hymn connects the events of that Sunday with our continuing celebration of Holy Week and Easter: “To thee before thy passion.