March Madness is over and what a fantastic bunch of games it encompassed. Just think of the crowds who attended, the cheers for the players, the close scores and the fantastic performance of our KU athletes.

There was another large gathering that occurred a long time ago. The crowd shouted and waved branches of palms; people and children did their best to get to the front of the crowd that lined the road. They were more than eager to see the person entering this important town on a colt. They strewed their robes on the road ahead of the entering celebrity. They probably imagined and dreamed of the days of honor that might be coming. The week began with joy and hope this was the person who had come to save their nation as the Scriptures had foretold.

So how could it have changed so drastically? How could the hope and approval the crowd exhibited change into hate and aversion for the one who earlier had caused the crowd to cheer and call out "Hosanna?" This man had entered the town on an ass, not an impressive and noble prancing horse with mane blowing in the breeze as they might have expected. But after being shown such admiration, he would end the week hanging on a wooden cross, which was a sign of derision.

If we had lived in that time, would we have cheered and waved the palm branches? Or would we later join the crowd that demanded Pilate "release Barabbas"? Jesus sacrificed his life for us all, but so very few were at the foot of the cross.

From the time of the early Christians, Holy Week was observed as a means to become better Christians by prayer, penance and focus on the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Remembrance of this holy week of so long ago is now upon us and soon will conclude with the promise of salvation fulfilled. This most holy week of the Christian year began on Palm Sunday and leads to the celebration of the Triduum by Christianity. Maundy Thursday commemorates the washing of the feet, the Last Supper and institution of the Holy Eucharist; Good Friday, the day in which Jesus was crucified on the cross and died for our sins; and the Easter Vigil and the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

A song that is meaningful during this week is attributed to several authors, but probably originated as an African-American gospel song.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when they rolled the stone away?

Were you there when they rolled the stone away?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they rolled the stone away?

Did you know he is risen from the dead?

Did you know he is risen from the dead?

Oh! Sometimes I want to shout, "Glory, Glory, Glory!"

Did you know He is risen from the dead?

As we look at our world today, it is evident we need to live according to the values Jesus taught us by his life and words -- that we love another as he has loved us. Our world is in vital need of these Christian values. So as Holy Week proceeds and Easter morn arises, let us all strive to keep the Easter promise in our hearts and in our deeds.

Ruth Moriarity is a member of the Generations advisory committee.