Post Number: 15355
|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2016 - 11:47 pm: || |
This is the week leading up to Easter. I'm a bit late this year, but I have developed a tradition of posting a summary of the events of Jesus' life during the last week He was on earth before being crucified and rising from death. I will post the summaries for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday below, and, the Lord willing, the rest will follow throughout the week.
THE WEEK CHRIST DIED AND ROSE AGAIN
This information is excerpted from the book A Harmony of the Four Gospels by Orville E. Daniel. I will use it as my resource to post each day the key events in which Jesus participated during this final week as he moved inexorably toward His death.
It is amazing to me that, knowing what would happen, He continued to minister and teach as He moved through the intensifying spiritual agony of those days. He did not retreat or turn inward; He continued to obey His Father and to live by every word that proceeded from Him.
His triumphal entry into Jerusalem: Huge popular support met Him as he rode into town on a borrowed donkey. Children waved palm branches and sang, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" When the Pharisees heard them, they demanded that Jesus shut them up. He replied, If they are quiet, the rocks will cry out. Every eye in Jerusalem was on Him as He entered the holy city for Passover week.
He cried as he approached Jerusalem and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes." He went on to prophecy the destruction of the city. (Luke 19:41-44)
He went to the temple, and "the whole city was stirred and asked, 'Who is this?' The crowds answered, 'This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." (Matt 21:10-11) "He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve" (Mark 11:11).
Early Monday as He and the disciples were returning to Jerusalem, Jesus saw the fig tree which was full of leaves but was fruitless. He cursed it, saying, May you never bear fruit again!" (Matt 21:18-19)
Jesus entered the temple and "drove out all who were buying and selling there" (Matt 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-18a; Luke 19:45-48). This was the second cleansing of the temple.
Also on this day some Greeks who had come to worship during Passover requested of Phillip that they see Jesus. When Jesus heard they had come to see Him, he began to speak of the significance of His death.
"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say?" he said. "Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!"
Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
Jesus continued to talk about trusting in the light while they still had a chance, and when he finished speaking, he hid himself from them. Still the people refused to believe in him. Still, some among the Pharisees did believe but were afraid to declare their faith for fear of being put out of the synagogue.
Jesus said, "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." (John 12:20-50).
Jesus and his disciples returned to Bethany for the night.
A lot of the small, seemingly random stories we've heard of Jesus' parables and teachings happened on this day. It's amazing to me that Jesus, who knew absolutely that he was walking into a horrific death and into becoming sin, becoming a curse, and being separated from His Father, still ministered and taught on apparently random and pedestrian topics. Yet these lessons are some of the ones we still visualize in practical ways as we live our mundane and pedestrian lives.
The miracle is that while He was teaching these timeless lessons, He knew that He was about to transform our mundane and pedestrian lives into offerings of grace and mercy which we would minister by His Spirit to the lost world.
On this morning, as Jesus and His disciples returned to Jerusalem from spending the night in Bethany, they saw the fig tree Jesus had cursed the day before. (Bethany, by the way, is where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. It seems significant that during the last week of the growing spiritual battle that waged unseen but palpably around Jesus, he and His disciples went to the home of intimate friends. No doubt both Jesus and the disciples drew courage and comfort from being in their home.)
"How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" the disciples asked.
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "If you have faith and do not doubt, you can do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (Matt 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-25)
They entered the temple courts where Jesus resumed teaching. This was the occasion when the chief priests and elders approached him and asked, "By what authority are you doing these things?"
"Jesus replied, 'I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John's baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!"
They conferred together, saying, "If was say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."
So they said they didn't know.
"Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things," Jesus replied. (Matt 21:23-22:14; Mark 11:27-12:12; Luke 20:1-19)
Then Jesus told the parable of the man who asked his two sons to go work in the vineyard. The first said, "I will not," but later changed his mind and went. The second said, "I will, sir," but then did not go. The people acknowledged that the first one is the one who did his father's will.
Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him." (Matt. 21:28-32)
Then Jesus told another parable—of the man who owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers to manage, and he went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent someone to collect from the tenants some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they grabbed the emissary, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. The owner sent another representative, but they treated him the same way. They sent another, and still another. The fourth one they killed.
The master sent "many others; some of them they beat, others they killed."
Finally the vineyard owner decided to sent his son whom he loved. "Perhaps they will respect him," he said to himself.
When the son arrived, the tenants talked the matter over.
"This is the heir," they said. "Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Then Jesus said, "When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
"When the people heard this, they said, 'May this never be!'
"Jesus looked directly at them and asked, 'Then what is the meaning of that which is written: "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes"?'
"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." (Matthew 21:28-43; Mark 11:1-12:10; Luke 20:9-17)
The chief priests and Pharisees knew Jesus was talking about them and looked for a way to arrest Him, but they were afraid of the people.
Jesus then told another parable—the one of the king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. All those who had been invited refused to come, even when the master sent servants out to personally remind them. Then master sent out a second contingent of servants to tell the invited guests the meal was read and the best food was prepared.
"Come to the wedding banquet," they urged.
They paid no attention; some and went about their daily business. Others seized the kings servants, abused them and killed them. The king was enraged. "He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city."
Then the king sent his servants out into the streets to invite anyone they could find. They gathered everyone they could find, "both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests."
The king came into the banquet hall, and he noticed one man who was there without wedding clothes. "Friend," he asked, "how did you get in here without wedding clothes?"
The man was speechless. The king told the attendants to tie him "hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Then Jesus said, "For many are invited, but few are chosen." (Matthew 21:45-22:14)
The Pharisees then tried to trap Jesus. They asked him if was right to pay taxes to Caesar or not. Jesus knew they were trying to trap him and asked for a coin. He asked who image was on the coin, and when they replied, "Caesar’s!", he responded, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God's. They were amazed and became silent. (Matt 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26)
Later that same day the Sadducees (who did not believe in the resurrection) came and asked about a hypothetical woman who had been married successively to seven brothers, the first six of whom had all left her a widow. Whose wife would she be in the resurrection?
Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection."
Then he commented about the dead rising: "Even Moses showed that the dead rise, for God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." God "is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."
No one dared ask him any more questions. (Matt. 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40)
The Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, and they got together and asked him, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
The second one is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
His questioner responded, "Well said, teacher." He then summarized what Jesus had just said, concluding, "To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Jesus "saw that he had answered wisely" and said, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."
From then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Matt 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34)
Jesus spent the night on the Mount of Olives. (Luke 21:37)