It’s Holy Week! It’s a time to reflect on the awesome events of the week that changed everything! As Pastor Landon reminded us yesterday at our lunchtime Holy Week Bible Study, Gospel writers spent 30 chapters talking about the events of this one week. That should give us a clue as to its importance. From the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem to the supernatural Resurrection appearances, the events of this one week in history shook the earth (literally) to its core!
The events changed how we view time itself. We now refer to BC and AD—before Christ and Anno Domini, the Year of our Lord. Of course, I think the “politically correct” version is CE and BCE (common era and before common era?). Even that can’t change the facts about what made the difference. Scholars can’t really refute that Jesus was a real historical figure who lived, was crucified, and was seen by over 500 people after His death. They don’t try. They propose radical theories to try to explain away those facts, but there’s more evidence for Jesus than for any other fact in history! This is why so many former atheists like C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, and Lee Strobel found God when they honestly researched the Case for Christ or the Evidence that Demands a Verdict with open minds and hearts.
The week started on Sunday with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. The King of Kings surrendered Himself to a cruel death for us. We don’t really get the significance of the donkey, but the Jews of that day should have. They didn’t. If a King went to war, he rode a white horse. If he came in peace or surrender, he rode a donkey.
After going back to spend the night with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany, Monday, Jesus returned to Jerusalem. On the way, he cursed the fig tree, a symbol of Israel. Unfortunately, this has been used through the ages as an excuse for anti-Semitism. It wasn’t, and it isn’t! As Jesus entered the next day (Tuesday), and Peter pointed the tree out to Him, Jesus answered, “Have faith in God.” The withered tree was simply a symbol of Israel’s lack of faith. But God has not and will not forget His Chosen People. And we’d do best to remind ourselves of that!
At the temple on Monday, Jesus had overturned the moneychanger’s tables and caused all kinds of havoc. He deliberately provoked the “religious” leaders. Why would He do that? Why didn’t He do as the disciples asked and stay away from Jerusalem at this dangerous time? Because He had to do the Father’s will at the appointed time, and this was it! He obeyed all the way to the cross for our sake. He didn’t run away. He didn’t hide. I always wondered why they would pay Judas 30 pieces of silver. They knew exactly where He was, night and day. That wasn’t it. The question was when could they find Him alone? He was constantly surrounded by masses of people, and they were afraid of a riot. Jesus gave them their opportunity. It was the appointed time.
What’s our appointed time? Do we know we have one? Can we say, “I came for such a time as this?” If we know, are we fulfilling it?
God bless you, and Happy Easter.