Those About to Leave Put Matters in Order
by R.A. Mathews
It’s what we do.
When we’re getting ready to leave for a long trip, we put matters in order. Those about to die do the same. Even Jesus.
This Sunday we’ll celebrate our Lord’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Jesus knew He’d be dead by Friday. Do you recall any of the last things that Christ did?
Most believers know that next Thursday is the Passover. On that night over 2,000 years ago, Jesus gave us the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. He said, “Take eat, this is my body broken for you.” (Matthew 26:26)
Christ took the cup and said, “Drink of it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
It’s also when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. In fact, John spends four of his 21 chapters just on the Last Supper. That’s nearly 20 percent of the Gospel. Pretty amazing. (John 13-17)
But what about the rest of the week—Monday through Wednesday? Do you remember what happened? Did Jesus:
1. Clear the temple of those selling there;
2. Teach crowds at the temple, who hung on His words;
3. Tell the Jewish rulers that He appears in the Old Testament;
4. Tell His inner circle about the end of time;
5. All of the above; or
6. Only 1, 2, and 4.
Look closely at your choices and lock in your answer.
I’m going to help you. A lot.
On Monday, Jesus cleared the temple. And, every day, Jesus taught there, speaking to those “hanging on His words.” (Luke 19:47-48)
Apparently, the people paid close attention to Jesus because of the recent resurrection of Lazarus. I say this because of the huge crowd that greeted Jesus on Sunday. They laid palm branches before Him, creating an inaugural carpet, calling Him their king. Scripture specifically says they did it because of the resurrection of Lazarus:
“The crowd that had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised Him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet Him was because they heard He had done this sign.” (John 12:17-18)
On Tuesday night, Jesus told His inner circle—Peter, James, John, and Peter’s brother Andrew—about the signs of the End of the Age. (Mark 13)
And don’t forget John’s four chapters on the Passover on Thursday.
Whoa. That’s a lot!
But was there more? Did Jesus cite Scripture, showing Himself in the Old Testament? Lock in your answer. It’s either No. 5 or No. 6?
As Jesus taught the people in the temple, the Sadducees and Pharisees came in shifts to question Him. Jesus told them one damning parable after another and then many warnings. It’s a great read. At one point the Sadducees send spies, who then marvel at Jesus’ words. The Pharisees send a lawyer, who loves how Jesus answers him. (Luke 20:20-26, Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-33)
But my favorite part of this teaching section is when Jesus points to Himself in the Old Testament. The answer is No. 5.
Here’s what happened.
Jesus asked the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42)
Remember, the Christ was the Messiah, who was to come to free the Jews. The Pharisees answered Jesus, saying, “He’s the son of David.” (Matthew 22:42)
Then Jesus quoted a passage of Scripture written by David 1,000 years earlier: “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand…” (Psalm 110:1)
This is so beautiful. Read it again—you don’t see this very often: “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand…”
Who is “my Lord”?
Who is King David talking about? Who did David turn to for help?
He spoke to the Lord, just as we do—David turned to Jesus. And God the Father told His Son Jesus, to be seated at the right hand of God.
David said, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand…”
It’s a WOW moment. The Christ, the Messiah, was more than a man. Jesus was the Son of God, who’d sat with God. Scripture says, “from that day, no one dared to ask Him anymore questions.” (Matthew 22:46)
Holy Week is rich with events—things our Lord still wanted to do. Those about to die put matters in order. Even Jesus.
Enjoy Palm Sunday and each day of this coming week.
The Scripture passages are from the ESV. The Rev. Mathews (BA, MDiv, JD) is a faith columnist, seminary graduate, and the author of “Reaching to God.” Contact her at Hello@RAMathews.com.
Copyright ©2022 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved.