I have been absolutely floored this week in preparing for Easter. I can honestly and regretfully say that I have never truly prepared my heart and mind for the Easter Season. Yes, I’ve done the fasting for 40 days thing where I would give up Dr. Peppers or Radio or Junk Food for the Lent season. But even that most of the time was for my own benefit…it did not draw me closer to the Lord, because I still wasn’t leaning on His power and strength.
This past week, however, was an incredible change to what has been the norm up until this point in my life. It really can only be explained with one word: HEAVY!! Thinking and reflecting on the last week that Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, spent on this earth that His Father in heaven created truly floored me.
If there is one thing that good ole’ Prof Howard Hendricks form Dallas Theological Seminary taught me it was that to truly study the Bible you have to Observe, Interpret, Apply Well, I’m sorry Prof, but I let you down this week. I literally could only get through the Observe section of my study.
But believe me….observing was enough…
DYING DEATH TO THE FULLEST
At GPS this week we studied the “last week” of Christ. Starting on Sunday with the Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-11) into Jerusalem – which side note makes me think of the VINTAGE 21 Jesus Videos (Alright, alright…let me off of this thing. I walked on water, I think I can walk to the door!). Sorry, side tracked a little bit. But if you remember at this moment not 5 days away from His death on the cross, everyone in Jerusalem were screaming “Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest!” and bringing the King His rightful praise.
What absolutely floors me about the last week of Christ’s life here on earth was that He was overwhelmingly aware of the ridicule, punishment, abuse, anguish, pain, loss, weight, etc. that He was about to endure. Yet knowing that, He still continued to love, serve, and teach all of those around Him. If I were in this situation I would “Living Life to the Fullest” and going and getting my own and having a great time for ME! Not Jesus…no, not at all… the only way I can describe Christ’s last week is that He truly was “Dying Death to the Fullest.” Don’t take my word for it though…check it out…
TURN AND LEARN
John 12:1-19:42, Matthew 21:1-27:66, and Mark 11:1-15:47 tells the stories of Jesus’ last week here on earth. I won’t go into detail at all, because I think everyone should read it for themselves…but here is the itenenerary of Jesus’ last week:
- Walks into Jerusalem with His disciples for the Passover Feast (along with 2.7 Million other people) and gets worshiped as the Son of David or Hosanna!
- Fulfills a prophecy (Zech. 9:9)
- Pharisees already plotting against Him.
- Wakes up and is hungry – stupid Fig Tree has no Figs….so He curses it and tells it that it will never bare fruit again – it withers and dies immediately!
- Disciples, looking on with amazement get an explanation from Jesus saying that if they have FAITH that all things are possible.
- Jesus reminds disciples that with faith they could tell the mountains to throw themselves into the sea!
- Jesus goes and cleans out the Temple (another great Vintage 21 quote comes to mind… “There’s that…there’s that!”).
- Jesus gets His authority questioned
- Jesus BRINGS it in the Temple…. calling out Pharisees and “teachers,” solves the Tax question, reveals the Greatest Commandment (Loving God, Loving people), shares some parables, clears up the second coming, and blesses a poor widow and her offering.
- Jesus gets anointed by the woman and her perfume as He is relaxing after a long day.
- Jesus puts disciples in their place when they complain about this woman’s “foolish” act…and explains that the woman had done a “beautiful thing” and had prepared Him for burial – only Jesus knew what was coming.
- Jesus gets a plot planned against Him and gets sold out for 30 stinkin’ coins.
Thursday: (my favorite)
- Serves His disciples by washing their feet (WOW!)
- Shares the Last Supper with His disciples.
- Points out He knows that Judas betrayed Him (SNAP!) and that Peter will deny Him!
- Comforts His disciples about things to come…that their grief will surely turn to JOY!
- Prays in the garden (3 times) while His disciples had heavy eyes!
- Gets arrested without retaliating.
- Gets drug around Jerusalem and Bethany and being judged by all.
- Submits to His Fathers good and perfect will.
- brutally beaten and ridiculed.
- carries His cross.
- Comforts His family and friends.
- Helps comfort the prisoners around Him.
- Carries the weight of all humanities’ sin on the cross along with being the ultimate sacrifice and atonement for all mankind yesterday, today, and in the future.
- Shouts tetelestai or “It is Finished” or “Debt is paid” – breaths His last breath – and dies.
WHAT A WEEK! Knowing what was coming….He never missed an opportunity to love, serve, and teach.
This video shows some of what God did “On the Way to the Cross”
LEARN AND LIVE
My only application for this week is for you to TRULY reflect on what this week means for you and me. Christ was absolutely personal and relational all the way up until His last breath (at least for a few days). He seized the moments and made sure that the Kingdom of God was benefited. We can learn from Him and follow these things and lessons in our own lives…
You think you are stressed or being punished or that you are feeling the weight and pressures of this world? Then find hope and inspiration from Jesus our King who LITERALLY had the weight and pressures of the world on Him…and He still found time to LOVE, SERVE, and TEACH! This is my King!