Summary: A journey back through time nearly 2000 years to what some people call Holy Week or Passion Week. The days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, days packed with real historical events of meaning and power.
This morning I want to take us on a journey back through time nearly 2000 years to what some people call Holy Week or Passion Week.
The days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, days packed with real historical events of meaning and power.
We are going to briefly consider what happened on each of those days in Jesus’ life and in the lives of His followers and those who betrayed Him.
As we follow the journey of Jesus to the Cross and beyond, my prayer is that God will enable each of us to see our Saviour in a new light and draw closer to Him as we are reminded of His love for us and His willing sacrifice for our sins and our salvation.
Let’s start a little earlier than Palm Sunday, lets star in Bethany.
Jesus had been staying in Bethany with His friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (see John 12).
Mary had anointed Jesus with spikenard, one of the most expensive perfumes that existed at that time, and Judas objected at the financial “waste” because he was secretly a thief.
Let me tell you a little more about spikenard so you can really appreciate what Mary.
Spikenard was an uncommon perfume extracted from grasses that grew in India.
The juices were squeezed out of the grass, then they were dried into a hard, lardlike substance.
Turning that lardlike substance into perfume was a very lengthy and costly process.
If you add to that the cost of transporting spikenard from India to other parts of the world, you can understand why this perfume cost so much money.
Spikenard was so expensive that few people could buy it, in fact, it was so valuable it was normally reserved and used as gifts for kings and nobility.
This was the gift Mary brought to Jesus and not just a little bit of it, depending on which translation you read, she brought a pound or pint of it to Jesus.
Mary took the lid off the bottle, tipped it downward, and began to pour it onto Jesus’ feet.
This kind of perfume was not normally used on feet!
It was used to anoint the heads of kings and dignitaries.
I suppose that is why Judas thought it was a terrible waste.
But for Mary, this was an expression of love. Mary loved, appreciated, and valued even the feet of her Lord.
Now let us consider Palm Sunday.
Jesus left Bethany and entered Jerusalem on a donkey as was prophesied in Zechariah 9:9, Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The crowds hailed Jesus waving palm branches crying out “Hosannah! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” (John 12:13).
The people who called out “Save us!” and were expecting a warrior king who would free them from Roman oppression.
Jesus came on a donkey, a sign of humility and peace, and He came with a very different kind of salvation in mind, the eternal salvation of all who would trust in Him as Lord and Saviour.
Just as Jesus entered into Jerusalem that day, He is still entering into relationships with people today.
He is our Saviour and King, He seeks to enter into a real relationship with us, He seeks to spend time with us.
If you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are not just a faceless person in the crowd, you are known, you are loved and you are adopted into the family of the everlasting King.
Monday. On Monday, Jesus cleansed the temple.
People from all over the known world travelled to Jerusalem.
When they arrived they needed to exchange their Greek or Roman money in preparation for Passover.
Jesus saw the money changers within the temple courts, in the holy place.
The fact that the money changers were running their businesses inside God’s house was bad enough but they also took advantage of the poor and the widows.
Jesus' heart was filled with love for the people who were being obstructed from worshipping God and for the people who needed to be healed.
Listen to Matthew 21:12-14, Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” He said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”The blind and the lame came to Him at the temple, and He healed them.
God wants us to fully worship Him, He is worthy of our total devotion.
If we put a barrier between us and God, or if we make something more important than Him, that thing, or person, or activity, or addiction has become an idol and Jesus wants to clear it out of the way so we can have freedom, healing, and wholeness in Him.