Friday, March 14, 2008

three days next week...

The events of Holy Week are well documented. Palm Sunday. The Last Supper. The Garden. The Passion and Crucifixion. The Resurrection.

What we don’t hear about a lot is the events that occurred in between the time Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and the moment he sat down to break bread with his disciples.

Truth is – you probably know what happened on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – but rarely do we consider these events in their entirety for what they are: the final three days of Christ’s ministry on earth. For example, over the course of three days:

He overturned the table of money changers, restoring order to God’s house.

He healed the blind and the lame.

He demonstrated the power of prayer with a withered fig tree, saying: if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for.

He reaffirmed his authority among the chief priests and elders.

He taught that actions are worth more than promises through the parable of the two sons.

He established the new covenant based on a two-way relationship through the parable of the tenants. I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

He used the parable of the wedding banquet to remind us of the narrow road ahead, advising that: many are invited, but few are chosen.

He established the separation of church and state, claiming: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God.

He gave us great hope in the here and now through a lesson on marriage and the resurrection, reminding us He is not the God of the dead but of the living.

He provided us a simple blueprint on how to live our live, in what has become known as the great commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.

He spoke out against the dangers of hypocrisy and those who do not practice what they preach. He set a new world order, where whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

He reset the bar on giving, highlighting the actions of a widow, who put in everything – all she had to live on.

He comforted his followers, giving them clear signs of what to expect at the end of the age warning us that many will come in his name. He took away our fears, saying you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.

He reminded us to be vigilant as the day and the hour of His return would be unknown – giving us a striking visual: two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.

He told us what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like, and through the parable of the ten virgins, taught us how to prepare.

He invited us to use our gifts in abundance with the parable of the talents.

He warned that there would be a time when judgment prevailed over forgiveness, and he will put the sheep on the right and the goats on his left.

And, in his closing argument – he totally redefined what it meant to have a relationship with God, saying: whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you did for me.

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This all occurred in between the time Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and the moment he sat down to break bread with his disciples. Three days.

Makes you think… what can I do over the next three days?

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

Thanks Ed! That is something we typically don't focus on in this season. I wonder what it was like for the 12 watching and experiencing all of this.. it must have been one wild week!