Five Days to the Cross
Yesterday Christians worldwide celebrated Palm Sunday. As the culmination of Jesus earthly ministry drew to a close he enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Jews were looking for a warrior king to come and set them free from the tyranny of Rome. However, Jesus did not fit so nicely in that box. He broke all the molds of a hero deliverer and he was closing in on an enemy much greater than Rome.
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. — 1 Corinthians 1:20–21 (NIV)
Jesus rode on a donkey a humble beast, a farm animal for the commoner, for the slave. The crowds gathered waiving palm branches crying out in hosanna as he rode in. His first visit is the temple — and for the next five days Jesus would rail against the religious authority who instead of paving the way for people to come to God they put up road block after road block. He would tear down every assumption the people thought the Messiah was supposed to be.
Five days to the cross:
- Jesus would drive from the Temple courtyard the crooked merchants and money exchangers. The temple merchants were set up in the courtyard of Gentiles. This was the only place non-Jews could come and worship the one true and living God
- Jesus came to restore our path to God. Sin blocked us from getting to God. So Jesus came to remove that block and any block that would hinder our relationship to God.
- The religious leaders would heap up law after law on the people that created only obstacles to worship. (If we are not careful we leaders do the same today)
- For five days he would teach and push the buttons of authority. Jesus would not be the savior we wanted; he would be the one we needed. Jesus would defy logic and refuse to fit the mold that seemed right.
Five days would lead to his betrayal by one from his inner circle. In five days the cheers of Hosanna would turn to jeers calling for his crucifixion. Some seem to think it was two different groups of people; however, I am not so sure. We are a fickle people who tend to turn on our heroes when they fail to comply with our own set of wants.
For five days Jesus knew what laid ahead and for five days he pushed and pressed forward. Nothing could stop him now, his face was set for the cross. I imagine those five days passed quickly for him. For his followers in five days it would seem like everything they had believed, lived and sacrificed for the past three years was nothing but a lie.
However, five days to the cross was not an end but a beginning….
Be sure and check back for my special posts on Good Friday & Easter!
Originally published at www.jonstallings.com on March 30, 2015.