Written By Rick Schafer
A Holy Week Devotion
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
Holy Week Is Here
Ah, Holy week is upon us. I’m reminded of how expectant the people on Palm Sunday were when they jubilantly welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. They expected Him to overthrow the Roman rule and reign as their new king. To often we, too, have expectations as to how God is going to work things out. (We know the best way to do things, right?) Well, the fact of the matter is, that Jesus came to Jerusalem to do so much more than the people then, and we now, could ever imagine.
Last evening, my wife Lynn and I watched the difficult to absorb and gory Mel Gibson movie “The Passion Of The Christ.” After watching most of scourging, whipping, and rod-beating scene, Lynn had to fast forward to get away from that, due to the intensity of the scene. (I don’t think she has ever made it through this whole scene….it is very intense.)
Jesus Predicts His Death
During this scene my thoughts turned to a couple of things. When He was far from Jerusalem,
Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed, and on the third day be raised to life. -Matthew 16:21
He knew the things that were going to happen to Him when he arrived at the city of David, and yet, He fixed His eyes on Jerusalem to suffer those things for each one of us, and all of humanity. He did not stray from that path. What amazing love He has for us!!!
During this scene, my attention also went to thinking how this was probably not the same as when Jesus was actually being tortured…it was probably worse! The cruelty of man in his true sinful self, unleashed at its worst, and it was real…not just a gruesome scene in a movie. Wow! He actually went through all of this. He did it all for me, you, all people.
The Last Days
Previous to all this, early on Thursday evening, after Jesus explained the Lord’s Supper, said there was going to be a betrayal and Peter’s denial, after Jesus lovingly washed His disciples feet, even Judas Iscariot’s, and they sang a hymn, they proceeded to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus would pray and be arrested. Now when Jesus prayed, He knew all things that were going to happen, and how He would suffer and die for all. All this was shown by the intensity of His prayer, and how an angel attended to Him.
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. – Luke 22:43-44
Next, is Jesus, again showing His enormous love. When the soldiers sent from the chief priests and Pharisees came to arrest Jesus, Jesus “beat them to the punch”, if you will, by coming forward
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” – John 18:4-8
Most often if someone is being sought after to be arrested, he would run…not our Savior…He stepped forward and took the initiative by asking who they were seeking. Notice Jesus’ response, not once but twice, He said [Are you ready for this?] “I AM He.” So what’s the big deal about how He responded? He used the Name that God used to identify Himself way back at the burning bush when God commissioned Moses to lead the Israelite’s out of Egypt.
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14
When Jesus said this, no wonder the soldiers went backwards and fell to the ground. Notice the care He then shows, He tells His “captors” to let His disciples go…and they do. Usually the accomplices are arrested, as well, in order to sort things through. Here Jesus shows His concern for the disciples, us, even in the midst of what He knows He will be facing and suffering. Such compassion!
So what about us, and now? Doesn’t Jesus care for us? Why is He allowing all this Corona Virus and pandemic stuff go on? When and where will it all end? Let me ask you the question that the Lord asked of Job (Job 38:4 -18), “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?…” Rest assured. God knows! God cares! God loves all of His creation! God knows the big picture! God knows what is best! God will make a way, just wait for His time –
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. – 2 Peter 3:8
TRUST IN GOD! Say it with me, “IN GOD WE TRUST!!!”
Jesus said, “I AM the Resurrection and The Life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” – John 11:25
Home Alone #8 – What Are You Holding On To?
What Are You Holding On To? When our boys, and now our grandsons, were quiteRead More
Home Alone #7 – Growing Like Trees
Growing Like Trees What do the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet [Who remembers him?], and BatmanRead More