Passover - How Jesus' Last Week Teaches The Soul To Stay Focused
It's Passover! And we all need sacred reminders on the calendar to help us pause and lean into the deep purpose of our earnest connection with God's amazing love. But maybe you're distracted by all of the preparations of serving and pouring out during this week as we celebrate a week of Passover and approach Easter. At some point, we all lose focus. But let's allow one of the busiest weeks of Jesus' life to encourage and refresh our entire being. It was His last week leading up to Passover. Saturday and Sunday Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, arriving at Bethany six days before Passover, on Saturday. Jesus was anointed at Simon the leper’s house. On Sunday, a great crowd came to Bethany to see Jesus. Monday The next day Jesus entered Jerusalem, visited the temple and returned to Bethany. It was Nisan 10 when the Passover lambs were selected. Likewise, the entry into Jerusalem was the day when Jesus presented Himself as Israel’s Paschal (Passover) Lamb. Tuesday On the way from Bethany to Jerusalem, Jesus cursed the fig tree, and in Jerusalem, He challenged the temple practice of selling on the premises. Some religious leaders began to plot ways to kill him. That evening Jesus left Jerusalem, presumably returning to Bethany.
Wednesday On the way to Jerusalem, the disciples saw the withered fig tree. At the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus’ authority and wisdom were questioned by some religious leaders. That afternoon Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and delivered His discourse to those assembled. Two additional things occurred on that day: (1) Jesus predicted that in two days He would be crucified at the time of the Passover; and (2) Judas planned the betrayal of Jesus with some religious leaders. Thursday Jesus and His disciples prepared the Passover lamb, and they had their seder meal together. Jesus shared heartfelt words with His disciples and offered an intercessory prayer on their behalf. They arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus suffered in agony awaiting what was to come. Later that night, Jesus was betrayed and arrested. He was tried first by Annas and later by Caiaphas and other religious leaders. Friday Early in the morning, Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod Antipas, and Pilate again. He was led to the cross and crucified at 9 a.m. and died at 3 p.m. and was buried later that day. Jesus died at the time when the Passover lambs were being sacrificed.
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Saturday Jesus’ body was in the tomb during the Sabbath, and the Pharisees hired Roman guards to keep watch of the tomb. Sunday Christ was resurrected from the dead. He was the first of many resurrections to come, in which it was a type of firstfruits offering. (First fruit offerings were made on the day after the Sabbath. Leviticus 23:9–14; 1 Corinthians 15:23).
Breathe deeply. So whether you're tired or energetic, clueless or confident, glad or grieving, determined or doubtful. No matter what, He's here to remind us that His love always invites, commands, and promises: "Come to Me... I will give you rest."
Adapted from Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ by Harold W. Hoehner. Copyright 1977 by The Zondervan Corporation; 1973, 1974 by Dallas Theological Seminary. Used by permission of The Zondervan Corporation.
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