Long before God separated the light from the darkness on the first week of Earth’s existence, He formed a plan. Man would be created with a will, and would need a Savior. Long before that first Word was spoken in the creation of this beautiful world, God determined to BE that Savior!
Then for thousands of years, God watched as His creation worshiped Him, then rejected Him, then repented of their sins, only to start the cycle all over again. God’s created people chose sin time and time again. How it must have hurt God to watch. Jesus, the Son, knew He was the answer.
I think of a third string quarterback, sitting the bench game after game, year after year. “Put me in, Coach. Put me in.” Not that there is anything third string about Jesus. In fact, He was the ace! But He was forced to sit on the sidelines while one quarterback tried and failed, then another, and another did the same. “Put me in, Coach.”
I believe it was with that enthusiasm that Jesus came to earth when, at just the right time, God did put Him in the game, to get the job done once and for all.
Now we read about Jesus’ last week on earth. We watch Him enter Jerusalem amid great fanfare. We hear Him tell His disciples His parting words to them. We are invited into the courtroom to see a sham of a trial, a defendant who never answered an accusation against Him because He wanted to go to the cross.
In fact, the only time we hear Him speak is when He was asked if He was the King of the Jews. “Yes. I AM,” He answered. Make no mistake about it. Jesus proclaimed that He Is God! And He wanted us to know exactly Who He is!
We see Him abused, tortured, lied about, and humiliated, and all the while knowing He had the power to crush His abusers at any moment. But he didn’t crush them because He wanted to die for them.
We hear the same people who, days before celebrated His coming, cry “Crucify Him!” Our hearts break as He is betrayed, rejected, denied, and hung on that cross. Yet that cross was why He was here in the first place. He was finally getting to do what He’d wanted to do since Adam and Eve.
I believe it was for the joy of my salvation, and yours, that Jesus willingly endure the cross. Victory over sin came because of that cross. But He didn’t stay dead! He is alive! And some day He will come again and take His children home.
The account of Jesus’ last days on Earth is recorded in all four Gospels, but I never tire of reading it. I believe this is the most important week anyone has every lived. It was lived by the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Thank you, dear Jesus.