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The Last Week – Friday to Sunday

by on April 12, 2014

The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, tell the story of Jesus life, death and resurrection. They tell about His birth. They give us a glimpse of His life at twelve years old. The majority of the content of these books, however, is about Jesus’ brief ministry and his death. Fully one third of the chapters of the gospels are about the last week of Jesus’ life.

We say there are four Gospels. There is really only one Gospel. The Bible contains four accounts of the one Gospel. The accounts are from different perspectives as if four different people described any situation. Reading a harmony of the Gospels is a very useful experience to understanding the life of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus’ ministry is typically divided into three years:
1. The year of obscurity – when He is not well known
2. The year of popularity – when He is known and appreciated
3. The year of opposition – when the religious leaders plot to kill him

On Friday of His last week of earthly life He arrived at Bethany, just across the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem. The travels of His ministry had finally taken Him close to Jerusalem. Here He apparently stayed with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. He chose the safety of close friends as a place to stay for most of the week.

It was during this time that the religious leaders finalized their plot to kill Jesus. God was working out His plan for the salvation of His people.

Saturday was the Sabbath – He went to eat at the home of Simon the leper. It was here that Mary Magdalene washed and anointed Jesus feet. He was among friends who cared deeply for Him.

Sunday, one week before His resurrection, was His “triumphal” entry, sometimes referred to as Palm Sunday. As He traveled from Bethany to Jerusalem, the common people blessed Him with cries of Hosanna. They had been blessed by His teaching and His care for them. Now was their time to praise Him openly as he rode a donkey to Jerusalem.

As He came into Jerusalem some asked, “Who is this?” The answer, “This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” He was more than that, of course. He was the one true God, the Savior of the world.

This was to fulfill Zechariah 9:9 – Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. Riding on a donkey or mule was a sign of nobility in Old Testament days. Now, in New Testament days, this animal was humble transportation.

It has been noted that Jesus’ riding on this colt was a miracle – to ride on an unbroken animal. Of course, He was the Creator of all things and this animal was not exception.

Ironically, it will be but a few short days until many, and perhaps some of these same, people, will be crying out for Jesus’ crucifixion.

It is on this day that he healed some who were blind and lame and children cried out, hosanna to the Son of David. The religious leaders were indignant at the blessings heaped on Jesus.

From → Bible, Church History

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