Spoiler Alert! Many of these scenes will be experienced during Acts 2 and 3 of our Final Approach: Wednesday April 17th at 7pm (Act 2) and Resurrection Sunday, April 21st at 10am (Act 3).
Tuesday morning, Jesus entered into the Temple and cleansed it. He restored prayer, miracles, and worship. Just like that. Tuesday evening, he sat in Bethany as Mary anointed His feet with very costly spikenard oil. The whole house was filled, both with the fragrance of the valuable oil as well as the indignation of everyone present. “Why this waste?”
Even His disciples couldn’t see the value of the One who sat with them. Jesus first defended, then forever memorialized Mary’s extravagant worship. He loved and honored her worship. We learn that when we give worship to Jesus, it is forever: All of our giving continues on in eternity as worship, as a memorial before the Lord. Not an old, forgotten act, but a forever act!
Let us pause this week and welcome Jesus into our hearts anew. May we restore prayer and worship in our hearts, empowering miracles and the remembrance of all that has been given to us in the past. Let us reflect on what He has done in us, as well as what we have given and even lost for Him. Let this reflection allow our entire lives to AWAKEN again. The weight of our worship is built in giving back to Jesus all that we have been given. He is worth it all. And His worth becomes that much more valuable when we bring all of our giving, worship, and prayer to Him. Allow it to stand before our Lord as a tribute to His inestimable worth!
Wednesday was a Big Day!
Jesus started the day with all manner of questions being asked of him. The chief priest, elders, Pharisees, Sadducees, and lawyers all had their turn questioning Him. Actually, it was more like an inquisition to trap Jesus and find fault. But they couldn’t.
At the end of all this, Jesus asked them, “Whose son is the Christ?” (ref Matthew 22:42, NKJV). With His answer, they had to stop. They dared not ask Him anything else. Jesus had been inspected; the Passover Lamb stood undefiled, separate from sinners, ready as the Father’s offering to be the Passover Lamb for the whole human race.
Next, Jesus helped His disciples gain perspective, prepare for the long haul, and even see into His return. I am sure their heads were spinning by the time they finished their talk on the Mount of Olives.
Thursday was Huge!
Jesus’ Passover meal with His disciples was anything but ordinary. He washed their feet! He set a new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). He made a new covenant, revealed His betrayer, and gently but firmly admonished Peter, knowing what was coming: “No, Peter, you will not be able to follow me now.”
He foretold a place prepared for all of us in the Father’s house, calling them “many mansions” (John 14:2). He said the Holy Spirit would come; that we would abide in Christ and His words abide in us, with all authority being given in His name! Jesus lifted up His head to pray just before entering Gethsemane–He prayed for us!–that we might see His Glory and experience His love, being one as He and the Father were one.
Then, Gethsemane. Sweat as drops of blood. Jesus: His soul yielded as an offering for sin, living out Isaiah 53, fulfilling prophecy perfectly and completely. He poured out His soul unto death. The Father sees, and is satisfied. Now the offering can take place.
Friday, Jesus died
But before He died, He first witnessed the truth to Pontius Pilate, the high priest, and the elders. He submitted to the Father’s will. In so doing, death was swallowed in His death. All of sin, all wrath and judgment, for all of time, was placed upon Jesus. God released the full weight of His wrath upon His Son, instead of us. Jesus was over us, for us. He was us.
Sunday is coming!
In our Final Approach Act 3 this coming Sunday, we will experience Jesus’ Resurrection with the disciples in all five scenes! Five unique, biblical records of Jesus’ appearing, each in a different context. All reveal humanity coming to faith. Jesus was never recognized after His Resurrection at first glance; in fact, in one instance, He even had to eat a meal to prove it was Him! So many moments… and we will be inside all of them in Holy Spirit encounters after each of these five scenes.
Before this will be Holy Wednesday, or Act 2 of Final Approach. We might have called it “Big Wednesday”. We will witness Wednesday and Thursday of Jesus’ Passion Week, where we’ll experience man’s self-preservation in the midst of relentless questions; we’ll ponder what happens to our hearts when we experience delay; and what transpires when our ways and understanding contradict Jesus’ timing and ways. We will be continuously re-directed back to the glorious ONE who paid it all.
We look forward to seeing you there.