Probably the most important week in the history of our world is the six days that God spent creating the world then resting on the seventh. Next to that, the most monumental week would have to be the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. So let us review the week that was:
On that Monday, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey’s colt. People that had heard He was on His way there had gathered and were there to greet Him with shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” (John 12:13b NIV) He went to the temple then left with his twelve apostles for Bethany. (Mark 11:11)
On Tuesday, they left Bethany, returning to Jerusalem where Jesus once again visited the temple and began to teach. His teaching stirred up some of the chief priests and scribes and they began to plot a way to destroy Him. That evening, Jesus and His disciples again left the city. (Mark 11:12-19)
Wednesday found them returning once again to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking about the temple courts the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders began to confront Him about some of the things He had said – questioning His authority and wisdom. They thought they were smart enough to trick Him into something that could be held against Him, but it was not to be. (Mark 11:20-33 thru Mark 12) The exchanges they had could really be viewed as humorous as they tried every way they could to trip Jesus up and He always had a response that shut them down. He and His disciples went to the Mount of Olives where Jesus continued to teach them. (Mark 13) Back in Bethany while at the home of a friend, two important things happened, Jesus predicted His own death and Judas Iscariot (one of His twelve disciples) decided to betray Jesus. (Mark 14:1-11)
On Thursday Jesus and His disciples shared the Passover meal together, then they left and went to the Mount of Olives, then on to the Garden of Gethsemane. (Mark 14:12-31) There was much intense prayer and a time of agonizing for Jesus over what was to come – but He knew it was what His destiny was to be. Then came the betrayer – Judas Iscariot – with the soldiers to arrest Jesus. He was taken before the authorities as well as His accusers and was tried on the trumped up charges they had invented against Him. Then the abuse began. (Mark 14:32-65)
Early Friday morning saw Jesus brought before the authorities again where they determined He was to be crucified on the cross. But before they killed Him they tortured Him – first He was scourged. (If you do not know what that involves, the person was stripped, tied to a post and beaten across their entire backside. According to the website Bible History, “The Roman scourge,…was a short whip made of two or three leather (ox-hide) thongs or ropes connected to a handle…The leather thongs were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, usually zinc and iron, attached at various intervals. Scourging would quickly remove the skin.” “Sometimes the Roman scourge contained a hook at the end and was given the terrifying name ‘scorpion.’…Deep lacerations, torn flesh, exposed muscles and excessive bleeding would leave the criminal ‘half-dead.’ Death was often the result of this cruel form of punishment though it was necessary to keep the criminal alive to be brought to public subjugation on the cross. The Centurion in charge would order the ‘lictors’ to halt the flogging when the criminal was near death.” *) After that the torture continued when they twisted together a “crown” made of thorns that was pressed onto His head, then they mocked Him with salutes and verbal taunts, spitting on Him and beating Him repeatedly on the head. Jesus was apparently so weakened by this point that He was unable to drag His cross to the place called Golgotha so they recruited someone else to carry it for Him. At 9:00 that morning He was nailed to the cross – through His hands and feet. Crucifixion is one of the most horrible ways to die – if you have never heard of what it does to a person, you should investigate it – it was torturous. At noon a total darkness covered the land until 3:00 that afternoon – at that time, Jesus breathed His last breath. Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent man of means, got permission to remove Jesus’ body from the cross. He wrapped Him in a linen cloth and placed Him in a tomb and had a large stone rolled in front of the tomb, sealing in the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:1-47)
Saturday, which is the Jewish Sabbath, the body remained in the tomb. However, it was placed under guard and sealed for fear that Jesus’ disciples would return and take the body. (Matthew 27:61-66)
Then, the blessed Resurrection Day – Sunday arrived. When some of the women went to the tomb to anoint the body they found the huge stone was rolled away from the opening and the tomb empty, except for an angel that informed them that Jesus had arisen. He told them to go back and inform the disciples and that Jesus had gone ahead of them and that they would see Him there. (Mark 16:1-13) The story continues on from there with Jesus appearing to His remaining eleven disciples, instructing them to go out into the world and preach about the Good News.
But Resurrection Day – the day we refer to as Easter – was the glorious day that changed the world forever. Because Jesus Christ took all the sins of the world unto Himself as He hung on that cross, we can be forgiven our sins. And, because He rose from the dead, we too will rise and ascend to spend eternity in heaven with the Father – if we will only believe.
How about you? As you look back and reflect on The Week That Was, have you experienced salvation? Have you declared your belief in Jesus that you too might be forgiven your sins and can look forward to a blessed eternity in heaven? It is a requirement unless you prefer the option of an eternity of torture in hell. I pray that if you are reading this right now and have not taken the necessary steps to ensure a wonderful eternity that you will do it right now. It is so very simple. All you have to do is acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and you believe Jesus is that Savior. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) says: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
If you need to take this step, here is a simple way to do it – just bow your head and say something like this: “God, I know that I am a sinner. I am sorry for the life I have led and the sins I have committed and I ask that you forgive me. Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God – our Lord, and that you died so that my sins can be forgiven; and that you rose from the dead so that I too can live eternally in heaven with you. Help me to live in a way that pleases you from this day forward. Amen”
If you do not own a Bible that is easy for you to read and understand – find one – then commit to reading and studying it regularly. (I can recommend the New Living Translation.) Find yourself a good church that believes every word of the Bible – attend regularly and get involved. Having other Christians around you can help to keep you encouraged and growing into the Christian life you deserve. Believe me, you will not regret this decision.
Now, regardless of whether you just now made the decision to be a Christ follower and prayed a prayer similar to the one above; or, you have lived that Christian life for decades, just celebrate, because today is Resurrection Day! Easter Sunday! You deserve to have a blessed day because you are destined for a wonderful eternity!
Written by Karran Martin – April 15, 2022