I cannot imagine the turmoil within his soul as he dug deep to carry out those last ministry tasks, knowing what he would endure next.
At some point this week, he had stood on a hill overlooking the city and cried his eyes out. He had cried, and cried, and cried. He knew that the people of that city had no idea what they were rejecting (Luke 13:34).
He then went into the city with a few final, important things to say. Perhaps he knew his words would be recorded for all mankind in the form of a book -- The Bible. It’s hard to know what exactly he knew.
What did he say in those final days? It's a bit shocking to realize this, but many of his final words were warnings, even condemnations. This week his messages were tough for some to hear. For he is compassion but also righteousness personified. And love doesn't always mean being soft and cuddly. At the end of the day, he wanted as many as possible saved.
He began as soon as he entered Jerusalem, dramatically turning over the tables in the temple, and declaring that the people had made his house 'a den of thieves' (Matthew 21:13).
He then spoke severely to the Jews about how they had rejected their own Savior. And he warned those in the future about how widely His Kingdom will still be rejected (Matthew 22:1-14).
It's true. His Kingdom still is rejected. We don't have to look far to see that.
And yet in amongst it, he healed the sick. In the very temple where he turned over the tables, he turned to the poor quickly.
Finally, he spoke words about what he was about to endure, predicting his death (John 12:27-36). The audience was puzzled. They had no clue. “What is he talking about?” I wonder if at those moments he felt particularly alone. When people scratched their heads at his words, puzzled.
We know a little about that aloneness ourselves. Not that we for one minute compare ourselves to Jesus. But we are co-crucified with Him, I guess, so to a small degree we have just a taste of what he walked. He says:
“Now, my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour.’ “ (John 12:27, NKJV)
Jesus knows this: That he will endure the most torturous pain. All we can do is thank him. And hope that we too can accept our own little purpose on earth in the same love-giving way.
Lord, we thank you with all our hearts.
See you all again tomorrow!