First Day(1): He made the Pharisees and Sadducees furious. Just like the kings and princes of olden days, the donkey He rode had never been ridden. The enormous crowd continually chanted, “Hosanna, to the Son of David,” and laid down their cloaks and palm branches for the colt to walk on. All this excitement on the road to Jerusalem, then suddenly He stops just outside the city, starts weeping, saying how “They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”(Luke 19:44)(2)
Second Day: He kicked out the cheating money exchangers and sheep sellers of the temple. Everyone knew of the corruption, but no one had ever done this before. It was bizarre. He looked at them with the fierce wrath of God, but with tears in his eyes. His words cut like a two edge sword, “My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers." (Luke 19:46) Afterward He called back the worshippers and spent the remainder of the day healing, teaching, and laughing with the children.
Third Day: He taught in the temple and condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees. The people were awestruck by His parables, teaching, knowledge, and wisdom. Nevertheless the hypocrisy of the Sanhedrin had gone unsaid for so long until He denounced them openly stating, “These men will be punished most severely.” (Mark 12:40) That evening, He sobbed again when a sinful woman anointed His head and feet with oil.
Fourth Day: He told His followers about what will happen in the future. The city of Jerusalem will be trampled under foot; there will be a great time of persecution; there will be severe natural disasters; people will hate one another; but when He got to the part about Zion, He had the same look in His eyes that He had on the First Day when we gazed upon the city. He ended with, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him,” (Matthew 24:44) then He declared glory for some and with more tears streaming down His face, destruction for others.
Fifth Day: He washed his disciple’s feet. The lowest of the low do that, but we all let Him do it. We were in too much shock to protest. Then He took the bread, broke it and something about it being His body broken. After that he took the grape juice and said it was His blood and passed it around to us. Sobbing softly, He announced that, “I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 25:29)
Preparation Day: He resolved to complete His mission(3)and was crucified. Night has completely enveloped the land and He goes to the garden that has given Him so much relief and solitude in the past. He left us and moved forward, he prayed aloud "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." (Mark 14:36). When he came back he looked almost disfigured with dirt, mud, tears and even blood. We had never before seen such an inward struggle! After the third time, he had wiped the blood, tears, and dirt from his face, and shortly after the mob arrived. They took Him the former, but still powerful, High Priest Annas, the High Priest Caiaphas, Governor Pilot, King Herod, and back to Pilot. With a bowl of water, He was ordered to be crucified.
Sabbath Day: He lay in the grave, resting from the mission. He had rested on the seventh-day after creating the world, now He rested in the grave after redeeming our one and only fallen world; resting from crying, sobbing, and tears.
His mission was accomplished. The week, not for the weak, is over.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16, 17)
1. Scholars are divided on the sequence of events during the last week of Jesus life.
2. Scriptures from the NIV, 2010.
3. Jewish day is sundown to sundown.
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