Summary: This message focuses on the last week of Jesus' life.
A Slave For Christ Part 6
This is part six of my series “A Slave for Christ”. This morning I want to depart slightly from my covering of the parables that Jesus told relating to slaves and focus on how He walked in the submission of a slave during His last week on earth. I want to provide you with this time-line in hope that we will understand that what Jesus went through during His last week took all the strength and will power that He had. I have shared with you earlier in this series that Jesus lived a life of a slave to His Father in how He served His Father hear on earth. As we enter into the last week of His life, I want to share a Scriptural reference with you from Isaiah 52:13-14: “Behold, My Servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men.” The word “servant” in verse thirteen is the Greek word “ebed” and it means manservant, bondman, bondage or bondservant. In other words, it means slave. The use of this word indicates that the servant was not a free man; he was subject to the will and command of his master. Jesus served the Father as a slave (bondman/bondservant) here on earth. This becomes extremely clear in the Garden of Gethsemane. First let’s begin with the Friday a week before the Friday He was to be crucified.
I. Friday - Seven Days Before The Crucifixion
Seven days before He was to be crucified, Jesus came to Bethany where His friends, Lazarus, Mary and Martha lived. Let’s read from John 12:1-6. “Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to be tray Him, said, why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people? Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.”
On this Friday before He was crucified, Jesus came to town early so that He could spend some time with His friends. From how I read it, I guess He wanted to be around people that cared about Him because He knew that this would be His last week on earth. Jesus was following the will of His Father – being obedient even unto death. While He was visiting His friends, Mary took some expensive perfume and poured it on His feet and wiped it with her hair. Judas, who would later betray Him, complained stating that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. What is interesting is that he was not concerned about the poor, but what he could possibly have stolen from it had it been sold and given to Jesus’ ministry. Jesus in verses seven and eight told him to leave her alone so that she could save the rest of the perfume for His burial. Even while He was fellowshipping with His friends, the knowledge of His impending death still weighed on His mind.
The next day, Saturday, was the Sabbath and the Gospels do not mention any activity of Jesus on this day. It is believed that He probably spent the day in the traditional fashion with His friends. This would be the last Sabbath that He would participate in and He knew it. We all live our lives not thinking that whatever we are doing right now might be the last time we do it. We think in terms of always having more time to get things right and do more things. But the time will come when our time has run out and then what will we do? Jesus knew His time was winding down and He chose to spend some quality time with His friends. Let’s move on to Sunday.
II. Palm Sunday – Five Days Before The Crucifixion
Today is Palm Sunday, the last Sunday prior to Jesus crucifixion. We call this Sunday Palm Sunday because of what happened when Jesus entered Jerusalem on this day. Look down at verse twelve of John the twelfth chapter. “On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.’ Jesus finding a young donkey, sat on it, as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” (Vss. 12-15)