The day after Jesus’s crucifixion was the Sabbath day, a day of rest. Can you image how strange that day must have been? I wonder if those who loved Jesus just sat and starred at each other in dazed silence. Picture the confusion.
There were some who were not resting. The religious leaders, wanting to cover all their bases, asked that the tomb be secured. They needed to make sure that Jesus’s body stayed put. Pilot gave permission and the tomb was sealed and guards were posted.
I just recently saw the movie Risen. I watch the religious leaders looking on as the Roman guards anchored the stone and placed the seal on the stone, I smiled to myself and thought, “Well, good luck with that!”
Because I know how that story ends.
It's 6:00 AM. I'm really tired this morning as I wake up. But how tired must Jesus have been? He has not slept. He has been beat, spit on, accused falsely, and now He is standing before Pilot listening to their lies as they yell for His death. In a few hours, Jesus will be flogged beyond recognition and will be dragging His cross up the hill. By 12:00, He will be hanging on it as the insults continue. Around 3:00 today He will cry out, "It is finished."
He has paid our price. He has bought our freedom. Don't let anything distract your heart and mind today. Remember what was done on your behalf and live like one who has been spared simply because you are so loved, not because you deserve to be.
Tonight Jesus will be arrested. He has just a few precious hours left. What do you say to those you love when you know time is running out?
Read John 13-17. Key in on four words-forgive, love, obey, and unity.
Jesus told His disciples to forgive one another after His example; those who have been forgiven much, should forgive much. He gave them a new commandment to love one another as He had loved them. He said, "If you love me, you will obey me." Then He prayed for their unity and for the unity of those who would come after them-He prayed for us.
That night, when Jesus prayed, He thought about you and me. Let that thought settle into your heart as you get ready for bed tonight. Tonight, all those years ago, Jesus did not sleep. The terror of what lay ahead for Him was just beginning. He would willingly endured it because He thought about you and He thought about me and He loved us so.
Scripture is largely quiet concerning Jesus's activity on the Wednesday before His death. Many believe that today was the day Judas approached the religious leaders and offered to help them kill Jesus.
Why would he do such a thing? Greed, obviously, but when he approached them he didn't know they would pay him.
Maybe because Judas never really loved Jesus or believed what He said, maybe because Judas thought himself to be better than the others. Pride, greed and love for self only opened the door for the enemy to tempt Judas to betray.
That's all Satan wants to do anyway; to tempt us to believe Jesus is not enough.
Jesus was busy today teaching in parables – lots of parables. He covered obedient and disobedient sons, greedy farmhands, wedding banquets, even paying taxes. He told them what the greatest commandment was and what the second greatest one was. He denounced hypocrisy and He let the religious leaders hold it. He warned them about the signs of the end times, and at the close of the day, Jesus talked about how He would separate the sheep from the goats when He one day returned to sit on His throne.
What an incredibly busy day! I can’t help but wonder if He was trying to squeeze in every bit of last minute teaching He could manage to squeeze in before He left them.
I found myself focusing in on two things Jesus said.
Loving God with all our hearts, souls, and minds was and still is the most important thing above all else. But then He went a step further and told them that the second most important command was to love their neighbors as themselves. (Matt. 22:34-40)
Love for God and love for others. How well do I love? How well do you love?
Jesus said, “A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
And we know how well He loved us…
Today, Jesus cleaned out the temple for the second time in His ministry. Tables are knocked over and benches are sent flying. Jesus's righteous anger is justified because of His passion for His Father's temple. It is to be kept holy because it is the Father's dwelling place among His people.
That temple is now gone, not because it was destroyed by Israel's enemies, but because it is no longer needed. God no longer dwells in a building. For those who belong to Jesus, their bodies are now the temple where the Holy Spirit of God resides. Jesus expects that they,too, be kept holy.
The question for us today is this- what tables need to be overturned in our lives? What do we need to allow Christ to drive out of our hearts so that our temples might be kept holy?
Today we celebrated Palm Sunday, the beginning of Jesus’s last week. The King of Kings climbed onto the back of a donkey, not a mighty stallion, as would be fitting for a king, and began His journey into Jerusalem as the Messiah.
As He looked over the city, he wept because even in spite of His great love for His people, they continued to reject Him.
But, their rejection and His anguish and fear would not deter Jesus. He would not turn around. He was determined to continue on into the city and on to the cross because of his great love for The Father and for His children.
What kind of love is this?
“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered they did NOT find the body of Jesus.” Luke 24:2-3
This verse still gives me goose bumps and fills me with a sense of wonder. Looking for the living among the dead, of course they didn’t find His body because …He is Alive.
“The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Then they remembered…” Luke 24:7
As we enter this week before Easter, the Parking Space Faith girls want to suggest ways to be reminded of what this holiday is really about. We would like to take our families Beyond the Bunny and share the stories of Palm Sunday, the Cross, the tomb and the Resurrection. Below, PSF has a few ideas on how to make the week leading up to Easter a worshipful and meaningful time of praise, remembering all that Jesus has done for us. So join in and let’s celebrate together!
“This is the day the Lord has made let us REJOICE and be glad in it.”
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