Audio, Church Life, Culture, Podcast, Purpose, Spiritual Life

TTWMN 121: Reflecting on the Final Days of Jesus

As people all around the world begin to celebrate “Easter”, we’re struck with the profound realization that many do not know why this holiday is here—and sadly, many Christians have merged the truth of this time with bunnies, candy and eggs.  So today we’re going to take some time to reflect on the final days of Jesus’ life on Earth.

 

Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem  (Source)

Jesus came in humility.  He did not enter on a magnificent horse; he arrived on a donkey.  Do we draw attention to ourselves, or walk in humility as Jesus did?

He was cheered by hundreds—many of whom would later call for his death.  How often do we acknowledge Him as Lord and savior, yet continue to do the things that caused Him to have to die on the cross?  What does our continual sin say to our professed love of Jesus?  Do we take our sins seriously?  Or excuse them as just “being human”?  When we sin, is our heart broken, recognizing the depths of our disobedience to the One who died for us?  Or do we just claim “cheap grace” and continue living like sinners?  Do we confess our sins or justify them?

 

The Last Supper

Do we take communion in a serious state of mind?  Or do we just do it because it is tradition?

Before we partake, do we take the time to read what Paul said about partaking?  That we should examine ourselves for unrepentant sin in our lives?  That we should not partake if we hold bitterness or anger toward another believer?  Do we understand that Paul said if we partake in an unworthy manner we bring shame on this most beautiful sacrifice that Jesus spoke of and encouraged us to do frequently?

Do we consider that, but for the grace of God, we could be like Judas—ready to betray his master for things of this world?

Do we deeply think on our actions and sins before we celebrate the breaking of His body and the draining of His blood for our sake?  Or do we just ‘do communion” because it is what we have been told that Christians do?

 

The Garden of Gethsemane  

When we state our will and desires to God, do we insist that he respond the way we desire?  Or, like Jesus, do we make our requests, but end with “Not my will, but yours be done”?  Do we fight temptation like Jesus did—with drops of blood?  Or do we give in to temptation to please our flesh?  When the world comes to ‘arrest” us, will we resist and flee? Or will we allow ourselves to suffer willingly?

 

The Trial of Jesus

Do we consider that we might have been among those calling for Jesus’ death?  Do we fear men more than God?  Do we blindly follow religious leaders, like the Jews followed the Pharisees?  Do we give in to Caesar—the world—instead of God?

Do we have the same question Pontius Pilate had for Jesus: “What is truth?”  Or do we know beyond the shadow of a doubt who and what truth really is?  If we were in Pilate’s shoes—finding no fault in Jesus, but fearful for the earthly consequences if we acquiesce—would we decide to boldly stand on the truth?  Or give in to fear of what men could do to us?

 

The Crucifixion of Jesus

Are we willing to be scourged by the world when we did nothing wrong?

Are we truly willing to pick up our cross and die to all things of this world for the One who died for us?  Or is carrying our cross a “part-time thing” we do on occasion?

Are we willing to lay down our life for another, like Jesus did?  Do we love others as Jesus loves us?  Or is our love conditional?

When we are suffering unjustly at the hands of pagans and the world, are we looking for ways we can get even?  Or do we say “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”?  Do we try to equal out justice on those who harm us?  Or do we let God deal with them in His perfect ways and timing?

Do we commend our spirit to God in obedience, even on to death?  Or are we more like one of the thieves crucified with Jesus, mocking Him because He does not deliver us from our trials?

Or do we acknowledge Jesus, confess and put our complete faith in Him?  Are we like the confessing thief, asking Jesus to remember us when He enters His Kingdom?

Do we understand the significance of the Temple’s curtain being torn in two?  That we can now go directly to God to speak with Him and worship Him?  Or do we still “outsource” our communication with Him to priests and pastors?  When we approach His throne, are we demanding?  Or are we humble, seeking His will for our lives instead of trying to impose our will upon Him?

 

The Resurrection

Do we truly believe that Jesus conquered sin and death once and for all?  Do we realize the great gift we have been given through grace by faith?  Do we have eternal eyes?  Or do we still look at life through temporal eyes?  Are we more concerned with living this life or beginning to live for eternity?

Do we gladly and boldly proclaim “He is risen!”?  Or do we not proclaim and exalt Him for fear of what others might say about us or do to us?  Have we become 100% obsessed with God?  Or is He a passing fancy?

Have we truly dies with Him and been risen with Him?  Or do we want the resurrection benefit without the responsibility of death to our flesh and sinful nature?  Do we want God more than the things of this world?  Or do we want Him in addition to things of this world?

 

Take time to reflect on these final days of Jesus’ earthly life. Write down what God reveals in your heart and share this life-changing message with someone this week.