… live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2)
How does Christ use the seven days before he dies? What are His priorities and what can we learn from Him?
Day seven: It’s the Sabbath and Christ’s in Bethany visiting His closest friends – Mary, Martha and Lazarus (cf. Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:1-9; John 12:1-11). Christ values relationships. In common with Him we should make it our priority to support, strengthen and sustain our friendships (cf. John 13:34).
Day six: Christ’s popularity is at an all time high as He enters Jerusalem to a spirited welcome (cf. Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19). He could have stayed in Bethany, but He doesn’t. He pursues His mission, knowing full well that He’s signing His own death warrant. We too must pursue the Father’s mission for our lives. We were made to fulfill His purpose (cf. Ephesians 5:17).
Day five: Christ shocks the religious establishment by throwing the merchants out of the Temple (cf. Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-48; John 2:13-17). His righteous anger is exercised as a safeguard for worship. The lesson is clear; we must “. . . worship God acceptably with reverence and awe . . .” (Hebrews 12:28).
Day four: Christ preaches and teaches the truth uncompromisingly. His scathing condemnation of His antagonists leaves them speechless and looking for ways to lynch Him (cf. Matthew 21:18-46; 22:1-46; 23:1-39; 24:1-51; 25:1-46; Mark 11:20-33; 12:1-44; 13:1-37; Luke 20:1-47; 21:1-38). The application – take every opportunity to pertinently proclaim God’s Word even in the face of fierce opposition (cf. 2 Timothy 4:2).
Day three: Christ takes a day of solitude; probably to be quiet and commune with the Father (cf. John 12:36). We also need time outs to recharge our batteries and press into God (cf. Deuteronomy 5:12-15).
Day two: Christ shares the Passover meal with His disciples but before doing so He shocks them by turning convention on its head and humbly washing their feet (cf. Matthew 26:17-75; Mark 14:12-72; Luke 22:1-65; John 13:1-17). In imitation of Christ’s humility we should take up the towel, i.e. serve others (cf. Philippians 2:5-7).
The final day is the day of Christ’s death (cf. Matthew 27:1-61; Mark 15:1-47; Luke 22:66-23:56; John 18:1-19:42). He’s deserted by His friends, dies even though He’s not guilty of any sin, and does it all so that we can be delivered from sin and live the right way (cf. 1 Peter 2:24). There can be only one conclusion: Because of His passion, we must live passionately for Him (cf. Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 2:21).
life question: If I had only seven days to live, how would I use the time?
lenten prayer: Jesus, I want to follow Your example and live a life of love for others. Help me live only all for You – Amen