by: David Kennedy
April 8, 2020
HOLY WEEK: Day 4
APRIL 1ST, 33 AD (If you were wondering, there is no April Fool's Day in Jesus time - it begins somewhere between 1392 and/or 1508 AD)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 33AD
Once again, Jesus has spent the night at Martha, Mary's and Lazarus'. Once again, He will eat a breakfast before He and his disciples begin their one-hour journey to Jerusalem. The city is even more packed as Passover is overtaking everything in Jerusalem. Now there are about 120,000 people swarming the city that is already crowded with its normal everyday population of 80,000. It is hard to maneuver the streets with all the people. The smells of street vendors and the people, the sounds of conversations and bargaining fill the air. By all accounts the final plans to get rid of Jesus are now being finalized. Does Jesus go to the Temple today? It is not clear that he does, however it would be the most logically place to go to teach, talk, and feel God's presence. My guess is Jesus returns to the Temple. I would want to be in a holy place at this time of turmoil and unrest in the city and the soul.
Wherever Jesus is, it is clear that he teaches some more parables, including explaining the cursing of the fig tree that occurred on Monday. There is some indication that Jesus repeats his warning of the coming destruction of the Temple (this will happen in 70 AD when Rome crushes a Jewish revolt). He also speaks about the end of the age (this is explained with the story of the fig. Just as a fig tree's leaves blooming indicates summer is close, so too will also be signs of the end of the age). Interestingly, in the Gospel of John this day is when Jesus washes his Disciples feet and speaks of his approaching betrayal and death. Is this the Last Supper as told by John? It appears to be so. Scholars have learned in the past 20 years from ancient records, that many people disliked how corrupt the Temple and the priest had become. Therefore, they chose to celebrate Seder on a different day than the one designated by the priests. It is possible there were 2 Seder meals - one that was real and one that was symbolic on the day designated by the priests; but this is just an educated guess.
Whatever the case on this Wednesday, Jesus is beginning to PUT HIS HOUSE IN ORDER. He will remind His disciples that HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. He will tell His disciples that the world will "hate them" but that they are to "love one another". He will share with them that HE will be giving them a PEACE that will carrying them through their lives and a "HOLY COMFORTER" (Holy Spirit) that will lead them, empower them, and comfort them. Jesus returns to Bethany for the night. He has 37 hours to live.
For us, 2000+ years later, the lessons from Wednesday of Holy Week are many. We need to acknowledge that if we choose to follow Jesus, much of the world will not like us. We need to remember through normal times, and through pandemics, we are to love one another. We NEED to remember that each of us, and Holland’s, has the gift of the Holy Spirit to listen to and lean on. And always, we need to start each day remembering that JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. It should not take COVID-19 to remind us of these truths!
Dad, Papa, Uncle Rich, "Butter" Son-in-Law, Rich, & Rev. Rich