Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Week: Day 4: Jesus' Last Week

Expectations were running high when the disciples returned with the colt for Jesus to ride into the city. In a way, that colt ride represented the arrival of a king. The disciples and the crowd knew it, and they could feel the tension of the moment.

It was a kingly arrival. There was tension. They were right. Their interpretation of what they saw and felt was not right, however. 

They expected an earthly kingdom and the defeat of their Roman conquerors. Jesus had come for something much bigger than they could even imagine, much less expect. 

He was about to enter the worst battle of His life, the one for which He had come. Jesus would set them free from their lifetime conquerors, Sin and Death. He would set up an eternal heavenly kingdom, one that would extend even to us.

Jesus knew that the donkey ride was just the beginning of a week that would seem to spiral out of control. It would leave his followers reeling in despair before only a few days had passed. 

He knew the pain and the fear and the agony He faced. He dreaded what was to come, but He climbed on that donkey anyway. 

He listened to the crowd's celebration anyway. 

He walked, and talked, and ate with His disciples anyway. 

Even though they had almost everything wrong.

Within a few days, He would make things clear, but for those terrible few days, He poured as much teaching into His followers as He could, despite His dread. 

He taught about the power of prayer, the kingdom of God, and His coming death, burial, and resurrection. He spoke of it in more ways than one, but no one understood. 

He continued His march to the cross anyway.

The sacrifice of Jesus was not dependent upon anything the crowd or the disciples did. It was only dependent upon the Loving, Merciful Sacrifice of our Suffering Servant Savior.

Early that week, Jesus spoke these words: 

But the greatest among you shall be your servant, 
And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
Matthew 23:11-12 nasb

That's exactly what He did. He humbled Himself, even to the cross. Because of His obedience, God the Father exalted Him.

Jesus didn't start that weeklong march to the cross with exaltation. He started with fear, dread, humility, and obedience. Despite all that, He went on anyway.

As we approach the celebration of His death on Good Friday, the horrifying Silent Saturday when it appeared that all was lost, and His glorious Resurrection Sunday, let's pause today and remember that, despite His own fear, His own dread, He persevered to the cross for us.

He set us free, but we choose to live in bondage anyway.

All too often, I choose sin over freedom anyway.

All too often, I choose failure over the Victory of Jesus anyway.

We all do.

This day, let's begin to choose something different. Let's choose obedience. Freedom. Victory.

Christ has redeemed us. He has set us free. Let's live like we believe what He accomplished on the cross. 

Let's live free. 

It was for freedom that Christ set us free...
Galatians 5:1 nasb

In case you missed part of this series, here are the links:
Holy Week day 1: The Scandalous Act of Love

Holy Week day 2: The Betrayer
Holy Week day 3: Instant Obedience
#holyweek #jesuslastweek #livefree #linesfromleanna #leannahollis