It’s Monday of the final week of Jesus’ life on earth. By the time this week is over, Jesus will have willingly given His life for the redemption of all humanity, fulfilling the most incredible rescue mission ever imagined. This week is not to be glossed over, but breathed in deeply. This week is about so much more than celebrating resurrection Sunday. The events of this week were carefully laid out in Scripture because they are a very important part of the salvation story. This week deserves a pause from whatever occupies our minds. This week deserves our rapt attention. Drink these days in. Feel them in the depth of your deepest self. Remember what he went through on his way to the cross and walk the road with him.
The week actually began yesterday, on Palm Sunday. Jesus made what came to be known as the “triumphal entry”, entering Jerusalem as a conquering king. Who knew that those who were shouting, “hallelujah!” and welcoming him into the city would just days later be screaming, “crucify him!”? Jesus knew. He knew exactly how this week would unfold. Starting with his arrival in Jerusalem, every detail preplanned and perfectly executed (Luke 19:30-40), Jesus was in absolute control.
On Monday, Jesus showed the world that he did not come to be the next big thing. He was not vying for the most likes, nor was it his goal to be on the cover of People magazine as everyman’s idol. On Monday, Jesus was more interested in proclaiming truth, no matter how unpopular. He went to the temple straightaway and turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the merchants who had turned what was meant to be a house of prayer into a “den of thieves”. They exchanged foreign currency at an unfair rate and overcharged for pigeons to be presented as sacrifices. Proving he had every right to clear the temple of debauchery and corruption, he stayed a while longer and healed the lame and the blind that were brought to him. (Matthew 21:12-14) This display of his authority over the temple is a foreshadowing of the ultimate authority he will possess when he returns to earth, not on a donkey, but surrounded by angel armies.
That same day, a group of Greeks who had come to worship approached Philip to request an audience with Jesus. This appeal made it back to Jesus but he ignored it, and instead, took the opportunity to further prepare his disciples for what was to come throughout the rest of this pivotal week. He started out by saying, “the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” He explained that in order for a grain of wheat to sprout a new plant, it first has to die and be buried to grow and bear fruit. While his disciples had no idea what Jesus was talking about, they would remember these words later when it would all finally make sense. Jesus explained that his hour was coming and he had to fulfill that which he came to accomplish. They would also remember (and never forget) the words spoken from the heavens , “I have glorified your name and I will glorify it again.” (John 12:20-26)
Ponder these words. And come back tomorrow, and every day this week as we walk through Christ’s final week together.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. –Matthew 28:18 (ESV)