Do you remember how I started this week of devotions asking what you would do if you only had one week to live? What would you have planned… where would you have gone… who would you have seen? Just so you know… you’re week is up! Today is the day. Today would be the day you die. Are you ready? Jesus was.
Thursday and Friday of Jesus last week were one continuous movement. Going from the Upper Room where He washed the disciples feet and instituted the Last Supper, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and was betrayed by Judas and arrested by the religious leaders. Sometime in the late night hours Jesus arrived at the religious leaders courtroom where He was put on trial. Who ever heard of a courtroom convening at midnight?
All through the night Jesus is accused and slandered. There is no time to sleep, get a drink, take a potty break.
Very early in the morning, after Peter has denied Jesus three times, the rooster crows. False witnesses are brought in and lie about Jesus. All the condemnation is heaped on Jesus, all night long. He bears it all.
The religious leaders have condemned Him, but they need authority from the government to do what they want, so they take Jesus to Pilate early in the morning. Pilate pushes Jesus off on Herod. Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate has Jesus whipped viciously to try to appease the people, but they don’t budge. Pilate tells the people to do what they want to do but he’d washed his hands of any guilt because in his eyes Jesus was innocent.
The soldiers beat on Jesus some more and have a great time belittling Him. He’s made to carry His own death devise – the cross. He takes it outside the city as thousands of people watch and jeer and laugh, as He struggles under its weight. He’s nailed to it. They secure it in the ground so He’s high above so everyone can see Him. He’s left to die on it.
For around six hours He battles with life and death… the constant criticism of the people, even those dying on the crosses next to His… the jarring, racking pain in trying to suspend Himself and breathe… keeping His right mind and complete the mission His Father sent Him for.
And then He died!
Little did anyone realize on this day of Passover, that in the temple, the lamb was slain, sacrificed for the sin of the people. Even today many will not see the Lamb of God slain to pay for the sins of the world – from all time… to all time.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Remember! Remember His last week. Remember His last day. Remember His last breath! You won’t find Him in the empty tomb if you never see Him dying on the cross!
As I stand in front of the cross today, tell me again why it happened. Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for mine. It is in Your name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen