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The Week Before Easter

“Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

Martin Luther

I’ve been reading and pondering all that Jesus walked through during the Holy week. Mary anointed His head with oil in the preparation for His burial. He served the Passover meal to those closest to Him, the disciples. He took Peter, John, and James with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane, hoping they would stay awake as He prayed to His Father. Jesus, in His vulnerability, said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 27:38a). He asked His Father to take the cup of what He was about to drink, away from Him, but then immediately submitted to the Father’s will above what He desired. Jesus was betrayed by His “friend” Judas.

After Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane, His disciples abandoned Him, and Peter denied even knowing Him. Jesus went before the high priest Caiaphas where He was slandered, mocked, His face spit on, and slapped. He stood in front of the governor, Pilate, who gave in to the crowd’s shouts, “Crucify Him!” Pilate released the criminal Barabbas in exchange for sentencing the innocent Jesus to be flogged and crucified.

The soldiers humiliated Jesus by stripping off His clothes. They temporarily put a scarlet robe on Him and formed a crown of thorns and placed it on His head, and mocked Him by saying, “Hail, king of the Jews.” They gave Jesus a severe beating. While hanging on the Cross, Jesus felt forsaken by His Father.

I wonder why Jesus chose to suffer like that. And then I remember what a strong motivator love is. Love is willing to suffer on behalf of the loved one. Oh, how great is Jesus’s love for you, for me! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus gave of Himself so we could become His sons and daughters.

Thankfully, all that Jesus suffered that last week was not in vain. On the third day, He rose from the grave and conquered death! His resurrection guarantees eternal life to all who believe in Him.

“The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death, but that we are to be new here and now by the power of the resurrection.”

Phillips Brooks

Relevant Reflection:

Take time to reflect on all that Jesus experienced in His last week on your behalf. Thank Him for His great love for you.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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