Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Passion Week - Tuesday

Here we are again, facing the time of year that Christians celebrate the Passion of the Christ. The Gospel accounts give attention to this important event. Of the 89 chapters in the Gospels, only 4 record the first 30 years of His life. Yet, they give almost 1/4 of the chapters to the final week to His resurrection. Obviously, this is vital and important for us. Over the next few days (until Easter Sunday), we are going to walk with the Master. Using the timeline as developed by Dr. Harold Willmington, let us remember and be ministered to also.

On this day of the Passion Week (Tuesday), Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees (not that of an unusual circumstance). However this time we find them confronting Him about His authority, about paying taxes to Caesar, in reference to the resurrection, the greatest commandment, and the deity of the Messiah. Jesus very knowingly responds to each of the confrontations and then roundly condemns the Pharisees. He proceeds to commend a poor widow at the Temple treasury. He leaves Jerusalem for the day and stops to weep over what He knows will be the future for the city and people. Stopping at Mt. Olivet, He proceeds to give a prophetic view for His followers.

Ponder over the Greatest Commandment as pointed out by our Lord (Mark 12:30-31). He skillfully takes the 615 commandments in the Old Testament (which can be condensed into the 10 Commandments in Exodus) and distills the full essence into just 2 - Love God with everything you have, and love your neighbor as yourself. The first statement is vertical in nature - between God and man (Ex. 20:3-11, the first 4 of the commandments) and the second statement is horizontal - man to man (Ex.20:12-17, or the final 6 commandments). Ask yourself, do I really (and the emphasis here is on the word really) live out these two commandments? Are they embedded deep in my heart of hearts? Are they what I see daily? If not, where can I change? What can I change? How can I change?

Prayer: Father, I truly seek to love You with my whole being, with all I am and have. I want to love those You place in my path with a love like Yours. I fail miserably, over and over again, and I come humbly pleading for You to rectify this in my life. May I live out what is in me - and may that which is in me be You. Amen.

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