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For Christians next week is the most important week of the year – Holy Week.

During this week we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday with the crowds acclaiming him as their Messiah.

But Jesus was not going to change the world through military might, or a show of supernatural power. He came and died to show us a different way to live. He came to show us how much God loves each and everyone of us, whatever we may do.

Nothing we do will ever make God love us more or love us less. Jesus died to take our burdens from us, as we read in John’s gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

God loves the whole world, the world he created, and cares deeply for all creation.

So, for Christians, Holy Week is a time of remembrance of that last week of Jesus’ earthly life, especially the horror of his crucifixion. Such a horrible death should help us to understand how much God cares, and how much he was prepared to sacrifice for us.

The good news is that Jesus’ death was not the end but the beginning; he not only rose from the dead on the third day, but during the next 40 days he was seen, not just by his disciples but by over 500 other people.

His victory over death was the culmination of God’s plan of salvation for everyone who is prepared to put their hope and trust in his promise – the promise of eternal life - to believe that Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

He won a place in heaven, with him for eternity. Next week is an opportunity to discover for yourself how much God loves you by thinking about what he did for you 2000 years ago, visiting a church or joining in one of the many services available during the week.

May God richly bless you during Holy Week.

Alan Rudge

Reader in the Oakham Team Ministry