Jesus said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. What in your life do you need to finish? Is it your doubt that holds you back? Is it the power of the past that still haunts you today? Is it fear? Is it the brokenness of relationships or the inability to reconcile? Jesus said, “It is finished.” Let the the power of Good Friday lead you to Easter where what is finished can lead to the impossible is God’s gift to you.
It must have been a restless night. As quiet and out of the public view as Wednesday was, Thursday would be never forgotten by the world. The quiet time spent with friends was about to turn into the horror of betrayal, scorn and abuse by those who hated Jesus.
It was Passover, a great day of celebration where families gathered together to remember their God has delivered them when they were trapped in bondage. The joy in the streets mirrored the preparations for holy meals and special times being prepared in every room in the holy city.
Did you miss the early posting of the blog on this Holy Wednesday?
There is a reason it is short and later in the day.
Last night Jesus was back in Bethany. The turmoil of the overturned tables of yesterday brought intense attention upon him as he reentered the Temple this morning. The Pharisees and religious protectors of temple tradition hated him for his actions. To them he was a trouble maker and perhaps worst. To others, he was a breath of fresh hope and a new found hero. He carried for them the possibility change was coming and their hope for a better place in the social order was placed on his shoulders.
This morning, the minute he entered the Temple, all eyes were on him. Some with stares of hate and others with adoration. Today what he would do or say would confirm his future.
This is a week filled with more drama and revelation than any other in the history of the world. Each of the four Gospels make that clear as they tell the story of the final days of Jesus’ life before the Resurrection.
It is not surprising the four Gospels all represent these final days differently. They share many of the same events. Each has included moments others did not record. (for example Matthew and Mark tell the story of Jesus cursing a fig tree Matthew 22: 18-22 and Mark 11: 12-14,20-26. and Luke or John do not include it). In a few places, teachings of Jesus some of the Gospels recorded earlier in his ministry are woven into the Passion week narrative of others. The Gospel of John includes long sections unique to itself. (much of John 13,14 and 15).
What do you think of when you consider the crowd that waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna” as Jesus entered Jerusalem?
Maybe you think of children waving palm branches. They were unaware of the significance of that parade. But they knew fun when they saw it. Perhaps they noticed Jesus as one who actually cared about them. Maybe they hardly noticed him as they played with their friends. It is interesting to me that in the middle of such a critical moment of the Gospel, children are in the center of the action. They are not put off to the side or told to be quiet. It is a day for them. It still is.
Last week, I reflected on what it meant to be spiritual but not religious. More people now declare themselves to be spiritual but not religious (20% of our country) than ever before. It is an interesting declaration affirming a spiritual reality about self while also seeking to reject any identification with a particular religion.