This week is known around the world as Holy Week and Passion Week. Millions of Christians are focused on the last days of Jesus Christ as He entered Jerusalem and accomplished the Work God the Father had sent Him to finish. It was also an amazing classroom for Jesus’ disciples. They didn’t know it then, but Jesus was going to return to His Heavenly Throne in less than two months. Those weeks were going to be filled with stunning lessons for the men and women Jesus would use to preach His Gospel.
Jesus demonstrated great love for the people of Israel. As He was riding on the back of a colt, receiving the praise of people who came out to meet Him on what we now call Palm Sunday, Jesus saw the city of Jerusalem and wept over it because of what was going to happen to it.
“If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:42-44
What a lesson for the disciples – the deep love God has for His Holy City, Jerusalem.
Another lesson for the disciples was the deep passion Jesus had for His Holy Temple. They had probably never Jesus act with such righteous anger – an anger He had every right to express.
“Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, ‘It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.” Luke 19:45-48
The chief priests, scribes and leaders of the people sought to “destroy” Jesus, but were unable to do anything to Him because all the people were very attentive to Him. Jesus knew Israel’s leaders were only days from killing Him, so He again emphasized to His disciples that He was going to die and it was going to be a good thing. The Lord used a simple request to see Him as an opportunity to prepare His disciples
“Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to Him.’ Jesus answered and said, ‘This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He would die. The people answered Him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’ These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.” John 12:20-36
Jesus was going to die by being “lifted up” on a wooden cross – hanging between Heaven and earth – to shed His Blood for the remission of sins. But the people who stood nearby and heard what Jesus said wanted to argue with Him. Jesus responded as only He could.
First lessons: 1) The Lord’s love for Israel 2) The Lord’s love for Jerusalem 3) The Lord’s love for His Temple 4) The Lord’s love for those who follow Him 5) The Lord’s purpose in coming to earth will be finished
Watch carefully this week as we share more of the lessons Jesus taught His disciples as He approached the Cross. May God use this special week to give us a renewed passion for serving our Lord.
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”