Cherishing the events of Jesus’s last days on earth.
Jesus’s entire life was an extraordinary life. Yet, this week holds a holy importance for Christians everywhere as they remember the last week of His life on earth. Last Sunday marked the celebration of Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The way He rode into the city forever remains a picture of His undeniable humility. Jesus chose to ride a young donkey, an animal that was used for carrying burdens. He could’ve chosen a magnificent horse but instead chose such a lowly animal. In so many ways, this is a portrayal of what was to come- Jesus would humbly walk the road to calvary, carrying the full weight of our sins. His entry into Jerusalem is also a picture of His set-apartness, He rode on a donkey that no one has ever ridden on before. Christ is holy, He is the perfect Son of the Living God. The Bible tells us that though some people honored Him as the King of Israel, many didn’t understand the time of their visitation, refusing to accept Him as their Messiah. Will we have the eyes to see Christ for who He really is and not miss out on our visitation as we celebrate Easter this year?
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Luke 19:41-42 ESV
The first thing Jesus did after entering the Holy City was to cleanse the temple. He embodies humility through His life but not without authority. The beauty of His meekness can be truly seen in light of the fact that God had given Him all authority on earth and in heaven, yet He chose to lay it all down for our sake. The churches of today should be houses of prayer and the leaders should look after God’s interests, not theirs. Among the many events that took place during the last week of Jesus’s life, the one when He washes the disciples’ feet holds a very special place in my heart. The disciples were astounded when they saw Jesus rising from supper, laying aside His garments, tying a towel around His waist, and pouring water into a basin. A true picture of love that would soon express itself in the most real way possible- through the cross.
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
John 13:12-17 ESV
Before His betrayal and arrest, Jesus prayed this powerful prayer that reminds us that we are not alone in our struggle to do the will of God above our own. We are called to pray the same prayer in our own lives.
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Luke 22:42 ESV
Jesus suffered a brutal death on the cross, carrying the full weight of our sin upon His shoulders. He was mocked, ridiculed, and tortured- all because of God’s love for us. It must’ve been so hard for Him to experience separation from the Father because He became sin for us. Jesus knows what it means to feel abandoned! He thirsted on the cross and was given sour wine probably for thirst but possibly to further mock Him. Christ endured the great blow of the full extent of our sin through His crucifixion. His disciples must’ve plunged into the very depths of despair when their hopes for an earthly king were crushed. We are just like them, me and you, prone to evaluate things based on our human mindset, yet Jesus had told them everything beforehand. Their experience of His death could’ve been different if they had truly listened. I love the fact that Jesus was buried properly and placed in a new tomb where no one was laid before. This made His resurrection undeniable because the evidence could be easily traced. Jesus triumphed over sin and death through the cross! He showed us through His life that the way to glory passes straight through calvary. Upon His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the women who were closest to Him and afterward to the disciples. He didn’t leave them without an answer they could truly understand. What patience! Christ is alive forevermore and with us by the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that He will be real to you as you celebrate this Easter!