A Holy Week Message from President Maier3 min read

This is Holy Week. Today is Maundy Thursday; tomorrow is Good Friday, and what follows is the celebration and the grand realization that Jesus Christ is no longer dead. He is alive! He has risen, and we serve a living Lord.

When I was in the parish ministry, this was the week that I cherished, that I anticipated, that I looked forward to because it was a personal spiritual journey over the last weeks of Lent that was soon going to culminate.

It is remarkable to think of Christ’s humility, to think of His dedication to humanity, to give us an example of what servanthood was like on Maundy Thursday, the night in which Jesus also washed his disciples’ feet. There he demonstrated what none of the other disciples would do, but what they should have done in washing their feet. It’s just a common courtesy, a common practice, and yet they didn’t do it; their master, their Lord, demonstrated what it meant to truly love and to truly serve.

But it didn’t end there. He knew what was coming. We go with Jesus to the trial, to his beatings, and inevitably on Good Friday to seeing Him carry the cross. There we see Him nailed to the cross. I remember when I was at Our Savior, Lansing, we always had the opportunity in the evening Tenebrae service for people to come forward. They would take a nail and nail it into the cross and say, “My sins also caused your crucifixion.” And for me, that was just an incredibly meaningful service.

Of course, it doesn’t end with Jesus’ death. We are so fortunate to know the rest of the story. That Jesus would rise again from the dead, proving that sin had been paid for, death had been conquered, and the gates to heaven and eternal life have been open for everyone who will believe.

I thank God that we have this Gospel, that we have it in its purity, that we have in its truth, that is still means everything to us. Many may stumble at the cross as a symbol of death, but they have to see it, as we do by God’s grace, as the open door that now leads to eternal life.

Thank you for this opportunity of sharing with you and I ask that you would just join me in this moment of prayer.


Gracious heavenly Father, Dear Jesus and Holy Spirit, how amazing to know that from eternity you had crafted this plan of salvation for the world because of your love for it. You knew that our first parents Adam and Eve would fall into sin and that death would be ushered in for everyone. That’s the demonstration of sin and what it brought about. But you also wanted to have a love relationship with your creation, especially humanity. This was the plan of salvation where you, Jesus, would come and offer your life on Calvary’s cross, where the final sacrifice for all sin on the altar of Calvary would take place, and then you would rise again. And then, dear Lord, You would proclaim this grand victory that we celebrate. I pray that, for everyone in the Michigan District, your Holy Spirit would work through the Word to convict them of sin, but to convince them of your greater grace, and what it means now to be joined to the risen Christ in our baptisms, as Paul talks about in Romans 6.

Lord, we commend this time to your care. We pray for all of our pastors—our proclaimers—the musicians, the choirs, that everything would be used and blessed by you for the edification of your saints and for those that will come. I pray for those who have never been to church before, that you would work on their lives to create faith, to receive this righteousness, that they would know the reason for celebration. Lord Jesus, because of what you have done for us as the one mediator between God and man, I pray in Your holy name. Amen.

Click here to read my Easter blog.

Photo (c) Mike Shea/Creation Swap

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About the Author

Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier is president emeritus of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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