Monday, April 14, 2014

The Final week of Jesus' Life - Saturday through Monday

There are 89 chapters in the 4 Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Of these 4 chapters record the first 30 years of His life, the last week of His life is described in 24 chapters. In other words, the last week of His life is covered in 3 times as many chapters as the whole first 30 years of His life. Over 1/4 of the Gospel accounts are about His last week. I think God is trying to tell us how important this really is. This week, let us pause and muse over what took place over 2000 years ago.

On the Saturday before His crucifixion we find the anointing by Mary in the town of Bethany. You can read this in John 12:1-8 and Mark 14:9. Even though Jesus had repeatedly spoken to His disciples about His upcoming death, they constantly denied that it would happen. Led by God, Mary came and anointed Him - as Jesus said,  “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of My burial." (John 12:7 HCSB). It causes me to muse - "How often do we hear the words of Jesus, but in our own way, according to what we want to think, we ignore them?"

The, Sunday was the majestic parade - the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11). Jesus came on the foal of a donkey - this shows two things - (1) He fulfilled prophecy (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-5), and (2) To show the value of small things. He often used insignificant things to fulfill His ministry here (consider the little boy's lunch). Notice the use of the word "Hosanna" in these verses. They are used only 5 times in the Bible and 4 of them occur here. This is the Hebrew phrase "Save, we pray." On this day, the disciples and the people in the city they created a celebration, but in a few short days (as we will see) the celebration changes into a crucifixion. I was musing over "How often do we get excited about Jesus at church, and turn from Him in the world?"

Finally to finish today, consider that Monday over 2000 years ago. Two events happen on this day. On His way into Jerusalem, Jesus curses a fig tree. This miracle was the only one that caused Him pain. The significance was so important that Paul years later takes 3 chapters in Romans (9-11) to expand upon the theological implications.  The lesson is that God desires fruit. Those who are a part of the vine (John 15) ought to bear fruit. 

Next, Jesus cleanse the Temple for a second time. Both events were at Passover, the first at the start of His ministry, and now at the conclusion of His earthly ministry. Both events centered around Christ and His Glory (John 2:11 and John 12:28). He calls the Temple a place of prayer (Mark 11:17) which refers to two Old Testament passages (Jeremiah 7:11 and Isaiah 56:7).

These last two events make me muse over the thought, "Am I bearing fruit for my Savior, and is my Temple (my body - 1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP - "Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you...") a place of communion with God - or have I polluted it?

Consider these three questions today as we walk with Jesus on His final week.

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