"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lent - Day 39

“As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives and Jesus sent two of them ahead.” (Matthew 21:1)

Time to get serious. The final week is coming, commonly known as “Holy Week.” The week that sums up the past 33 years of Jesus’ life. Why He came. Why He lived. Why He taught. And ultimately, why He died.
Jesus knew that many events must come to pass this coming week and many of them would be a result of His actions. He knew there must be a donkey for His entry into Jerusalem. He knew He would need to continue to anger the religious leaders by cleansing the Temple and teaching there. He knew where things were headed, and being the Son of God…being God himself….He could have stopped them at any point, but He didn’t.
During my career at Georgia State University, there were a number of occasions where I had to make decisions and put into action events that would make a negative impact on people, including myself. Sometimes it was a termination, other times it was a negative evaluation, at times it was a restructuring and transferring staff into positions they would not be happy with, but it all had to be done for the greater good. Plus, I had a boss telling me to do these things. However, there were times, when I could have stopped some actions by acting out of my own selfish wants, instead of what was needed to be done. I certainly do not mean to put my own experiences on the level as Jesus’ decisions during His last week, but I just am trying to get a grasp on the strength of His spirit to allow events to roll on as they did. No human I know has that strength. We are born with a spirit of self-preservation that kicks in when we are threatened and only a few people, mostly military, have an ability to make an ultimate sacrifice. Even then, it doesn’t begin to compare.
Please think about Jesus on this day before He rides into Jerusalem. The Holy City. The beginning of the end, but also a new beginning. Betrayal. Hurt. Denial. Death. Think of the absolute and pure LOVE that Jesus had for you and for me to start this week in motion. LOVE. Beyond compare. Beyond what words can express. The true LOVE of God.



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