Scripture reading: Ephesians 6:10-20


  • Palm Sunday ushers in Holy Week, which culminated our Lord’s final showdown with his enemies. Virtually all the public events of Holy Week entailed acts of spiritual warfare.
  • How should we respond to our ideological enemies?
  • Some Christians think the answer is simple: “Love your enemies” (Lk 6:27b). But the answer is far more nuanced (Jeremiah 12:7-8).

A quick summary of the events of Holy Week

  1. Palm Sunday – Triumphal entry
  2. Holy Monday – Cleansing of the temple; Bethany
  3. Holy Tuesday – Conflicts with Jewish leaders (a.m.); Olivet discourse (p.m.); Bethany
  4. Spy Wednesday – Jesus in Bethany; Jewish leaders conspire; Jesus anointed for burial
  5. Maundy Thursday – New Covenant enactment (Lord’s table); Gethsemane; arrest; first trials before Annas, Caiaphas, Sanhedrin
  6. Good Friday – Trials before Pilate, Herod, Pilate again; flogging; crucifixion; burial
  7. Holy Saturday – Jesus’ body rests in the tomb and his soul ministers in Sheol
  8. Easter Sunday – Jesus is reconstituted (body/soul) and resurrected!

Three lessons we can learn from Jesus’ response to his enemies

  1. Stand against them (defiant opposition)

“Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?”

– Psalm 94:16

  • Jesus’ acts of defiant opposition during Holy Week:
    • His triumphal entry
    • His cleansing of temple
    • His enacting of the new covenant and new law
    • His death on the cross
    • His resurrection
  • How about us?
    • We can fight for the lives of the unborn
    • We can fight for children and their parents
    • We can pull our kids out of a school when it shows that it is committed to jamming ideological nonsense down our kids throats
  1. Speak the truth to them (prophetic declaration)

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

–  2 Corinthians 4:1-2

  • Jesus’ acts of “truth telling” during Holy Week
    • His insistence on his own divine identity
    • His warning about God’s impending judgment
    • His condemnation of the corrupt religious establishment
  • How about us?
    • We can lovingly let emphatically speak out the lies in our churches
    • We can graciously yet unapologetically address the lies in our culture
  1. Pray for them (loving intercession)

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

– Luke 6:27b-28

  • Jesus’ prayers during Holy Week
    • In the upper room, in Gethsemane, on the cross
  • How about us?
    • We can train ourselves to pray moment-by-moment as we listen to the news
    • We can prioritize regular times of concentrated, intentional group prayer