Holy Week

holyweekThis week is a very special time for born-again believers. Even those who are not Christians will recognize the week in various ways. Religious people may spend more time at their churches.  Folks might purchase chocolate bunnies and Easter candy, never giving any thought to the real sufferings of Jesus Christ or His redeeming resurrection.

He lives! And His last week while here on earth was filled with many events, interaction with others, and timeless truths to embrace.

I don’t usually post every day, but for the rest of the week, I hope to do just that–each day concentrating on a different character. I hope this little group of posts will be a blessing to you as you aim to focus on our risen Savior!

Tomorrow, we will begin by comparing two individuals who met Jesus while on his way to Jerusalem. But after looking back to the events prior to  Jesus’ meeting with one of these characters, blind Bartimaeus, I found a lesson! So, let’s back up a bit and recap all that has happened in Mark 10 leading up to our passage.

  1. Vs. 1 – 12: Jesus is teaching the people when the Pharisees ask him about divorce.
  2. Vs. 13 – 14: “Suffer the little children” passage, which begins with these words: “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased.”
  3. Vs.17 – 27: Rich young ruler passage, which ends with the camel-through-the-eye-of-a-needle comparison. Jesus ends the discourse with, “for with God all things are possible.”
  4. Vs. 28 – 31: Peter declares that they have left all to follow Jesus, and Jesus assures him of rewards in heaven.
  5. Vs. 32 – 34: While on the way to Jerusalem, Jesus tells the disciples what will soon happen.  He would be:
    • Delivered unto the chief priests and scribes
    • They would condemn him to death
    • They would deliver him to the Gentiles
    • He would be mocked, scourged, spit upon
    • They would kill him
    • He would rise the third day
  6. Vs. 35 – 45: James and John ask to sit next to Jesus in the Kingdom age and the ten are grumbling. Jesus answers by telling them to have servant’s hearts.
  7. Vs.46 – 52: The healing of blind Bartimaeus

I’m not certain of the timeframe for all these events, but we do know that Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover with His disciples.  He also knows what else will happen; however, the disciples have no clue. Whether the Father blinded their eyes or they were blinded by their own agendas, they completely missed what Jesus is saying. You can see that He tells them in great detail what will happen! We know because it is all recorded in the Bible, but these were future events, and, sadly, the disciples have formulated in their minds other plans for Jesus.

Last evening, we participated in a Seder meal, the Passover meal observed this evening by Jewish people all over the world. It was very fascinating and informative.  Much of this Old Testament ritual points to the Messiah’s coming; in fact,’ Jewish people believe that the Messiah will return during Passover and faithfully look for Him every year.  The last words spoken at the end of the Seder refer to a hope that they will celebrate Passover in Jerusalem next year, which would mean Messiah came and ushered in His Kingdom.

So, when the disciples are heading to Jerusalem, they truly believe that this is the year, Jesus is the Messiah, and that the Kingdom age will begin… now! Jesus would show Himself to be the King of kings and overthrow Rome’s tyranny! Certainly, Sunday’s palm entrance would only solidify their thoughts! When you keep this thought in mind, everything takes on a different understanding:

  • Peter’s promise to never forsake Jesus—of course, he wouldn’t, they would be in the Kingdom age ruling together!
  • Their lack of urgency in the garden—such excitement would have exhausted them, and prayer seemed unnecessary.
  • Their overwhelming amazement at the cross—this was NOT supposed to be happening!
  • Even James’ and John’s quest for top rank makes more sense because in their minds it was happening immediately!

Here we are, 2,000 years later, still looking for our Messiah and Savior to return and begin  His clock to ticking again. We’ve been “stuck” in the church age for 2,000 years! Do you hope for His return to be soon, or are you comfortable in your little world just the way it is? It’s a good question to ask to gain a clearer perspective on reality—God’s reality!

As I sit here typing, knowing that the Jewish Passover is this evening, I wonder, what if this was the night that Jesus returned? Depending on our age, our thoughts go several different directions:

  • Teens—But I want to get married and have children
  • Young Adults—But I want to see my children grow up
  • Middle Age—But I want to see my grandchildren grow up
  • Older—Come ahead, dear Jesus!  I’ve lived my life and I’m ready to go!

Granted, I’m fast approaching the last category, but may I share some really good news for every age? Look at the following timeline:

  1. Rapture – this is the next event on God’s eternal clock
  2. Great Tribulation (seven years) – for the unsaved, this is really bad news. There will be so much deception and horror in these seven years (especially the last 3 ½) that no one would survive if God did not keep it short! (Matt. 24:22), but believers will be with Jesus in heaven!
  3. Battle of Armageddon – which isn’t really a battle because Jesus just speaks and the wicked are destroyed (interesting opposite to God speaking everything into existence at Creation!)
  4. KINGDOM AGE (MILLENNIUM) – One thousand years here on earth under Jesus’ earthly reign! We will be here! So, if you are afraid of the Rapture, don’t be! You will be trading in a few years on this sinful earth for a thousand years in a Christ-ruled world before entering into eternity! Hallelujah!

So, what’s the point? Well, there are several. First, as I look at Mark 10, and mentally follow Jesus just days before his suffering, I’m challenged with several thoughts:

Am I as blinded to Jesus’ true agenda for my life as the disciples were?

Am I a challenge or blessing to my Lord? Does the way I’m living my life please Him, or am I being short-sighted?

Open our eyes, LORD!

Second, am I looking for His coming?

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

May this week change each of us to walk just a little closer, a little more circumspectly, and a bit more focused on the One who suffered so much for each of us!

 

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