‘Zeal for Your house has eaten me up.” –Psalm 69:9: John 2:17
If you knew you had only one week to live, how would you spend it? Jesus knew, and how He spent it is telling.
I must not have been paying attention, for so many years of gospel reading. I didn’t really notice how much, and what kind of activity, He crammed into that week. My mind must have jumped from Triumphal Entry to Last Supper and Crucifixion, and lumped all the text in between with His earlier times of ministry, the three-plus years before.
But what a loaded week!
[If you’d like to follow His days from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Day, Blue Letter Bible has this guide. To choose different translations, scroll to the top of text.]
First, He came in lamblike: Riding on that donkey, fulfilling ancient prophecy.
Came in, evidently saying little, except that the stones would cry out if the crowd didn’t.
But next morning, what a lion!
Starting with a bang or two or three—shocking, provocative, and highly demonstrative: killing a fruitless fig tree with a curse on the way into town, overturning temple tables, confronting money-grabbers head-on. Coins flying everywhere. Money-changers scrambling to retrieve “their” scattered cash. Him with a whip of cords, driving them out. Tumult!
(Was this not a foreshadowing of the kind of return He’s going to make someday — riding not a donkey but the figurative war horse of conquering Hero and King?)
Then he went to healing (another foreshadowing?) and teaching a more traditional way. But not wimpy. Incisive. Confrontational. Full of warning. Dangerous. Its aim: Truth! Which is not
always usually welcome. So, like true prophets before Him, He put His life in jeopardy.
As masses gathered to hear him—and also scribes and Pharisees—he minced no words, avoided no truths needing utterance. Addressing hypocrisy with thinly veiled parables, He told of wicked and unfaithful vineyard keepers, of a son who says he’ll serve his father but doesn’t, of a wedding guest thrown out because he lacks the acceptable garment…
After this He did a lot of verbal jousting with those scribes and Pharisees and the spies they sent into the crowds to try to trip Him up, confound His teaching, make Him look bad before the people.
Were His answers quiet and even-toned — or like Ravi Zacharias’s machine-gun-rapid shooting forth of demolish-the-opposition answers? Whichever the case, this was verbal war, and the stakes were high: the honor of God and the souls of men. In the process, even many of the Pharisees and scribes came to true faith. But those who didn’t were now stirred to murderous anger.
That didn’t stop Him. He went on. And He told them what they most needed to hear, whether they would receive it or not. He knew He was “asking for it.” But then, as He also pointed out to the disciples, it was for His execution that He had come in to Jerusalem.
So, how would you spend your last week? That’s how He spent His. He came into Jerusalem to lay down His life as a ransom for many. But before He did, He poured Himself out in zeal and love for God’s house, God’s truth, and God’s people.
Truly He came in not only as the Lamb of God, but also as the Lion.
[Edited post from archives]
8 thoughts on “Final Week: Lamb or Lion?”
I hope to spend my last week reflecting His glory, in the unique way for which He as created me!
I guess some day I will have a chance to find out…
Either way, I’m trusting in His grace and mercy.
To be honest, Joe, reposting this, I didn’t think much about my own question till I read your answer here. Then I started speculating. I’d like to think I’d spend that last week honoring Him, too — but I know my imperfections, and would also have to be relying on His grace and mercy. Then I thought, how do I know this isn’t my last week? Shouldn’t I be living as if it were? Thanks for your thoughts, getting mine going!
I didn’t notice that for a long time, either. Love your reflection on it!
What a powerful thought to consider. I was asked the question a week or so ago: If I were told I had 24 hours to live, what would I do? I responded that I’d want to be with loved ones. But my friend said she’d be calling everyone she knew that didn’t know Jesus, and telling them to find Him. I thought that was a very good answer.
Thank you for the refocus. Just read a blog by a commentor celebrating the the great holiday of giant bunnies. Makes my stomach churn. I wonder how much she knows about this week…maybe I need to go be brave. Maybe she would read your post…
Lisa, your comment got me thinking… and thinking. In my waking thoughts this morning it became a blog post. Next one, or the following (Not sure yet. I have something else to say, maybe first.) Thanks so much for stopping here to leave these ideas to ponder. May this be a very richly blessed Passion Week for you — and your friend!
Your comment is prompting me to put up a yet another post, a simple one about the week’s focus. Today or tomorrow. Probably today. Thank you for reminding me of what so many other people “see” in this week — and don’t! Special blessings to you!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. There’s so much there we tend too easily to skim over and miss, isn’t there? Rich blessings to you this week!
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