If you knew that you only had two weeks to live how would you spend your time? Would you spend it living it up? Perhaps visiting all the places that you had never seen. Or maybe you would forget your diet and eat and enjoy all the foods you normally restricted from yourself. What about the people around you, would you make sure you said all the things that you wanted to say? When I have contemplated these ideas my first response is usually something along the lines of doing everything I wanted to do whatever that may be.
Would you be concerned about serving people and looking out for them? I don’t think I would respond that way. I wish I could say that I would, but the truth is I don’t think I would think that way. Yet, that is what Jesus did during his last weeks.
Let’s look at a few things the Bible tells us about what Jesus did in the days before His death:
- Jesus grieved~~Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.
- His grieving wasn’t for Himself, but rather for the people who wouldn’t listen to His message.
- Jesus warned his disciples what would come~~Mark 13:5-8~~Jesus replied,“Don’t let anyone mislead you,for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah. They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
- Jesus taught about serving others~~ Mark 10:35~~ So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Jesus warned the people~~ Luke 19:45~~Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices.
- Jesus once again cleansed the Temple. He didn’t want the people to forget that the Temple is a Holy place and must be treated as such.
- Jesus prayed for his disciples~~ John 17:9-11~~“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.
- Jesus taught the people~~ John 14:6-7~~Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
We are marching towards Easter just like Jesus did. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday which marks the triumphal entry of Jesus into the city. In the days approaching these last weeks of Jesus’ life what do you think he was thinking about? We have looked at some of the things that Jesus was doing before he laid down his life for all of mankind, but how do you think he was feeling? Do you think he was afraid? Do you think Jesus thought about all that he had to do in those weeks before he would lay down his life for the world? Do you think that our savior became anxious?
Jesus was fully man and yet also fully God. This is a difficult idea to wrap our minds around, but I accept it by faith that it is true. Because of this fact, we have a savior who has suffered. He felt pain as the nails were driven deep into his wrists. He felt fear as he fell prostrate before the Lord in the Garden and was sweating drops of blood. He grieved when he saw the suffering of Mary and Martha at the death of their brother. Jesus understands our struggles in such intimate ways because of his sufferings on this earth.
I am so thankful that our God is such a gracious God that he sent His only son to pay the penalty for my sins. I don’t deserve the price Jesus paid. Yet, this gift has been given to me freely as a precious gift of grace. I pray that our hearts will be open this Easter as we are marching to the cross with Jesus.