“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem…they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.”
6 of Mark’s 16 chapters describe the last week of Jesus’ life. Almost 40% of his entire gospel is taken up with this one singular event! Think of the press that Christmas gets (very appropriately, albeit), and then realize that Mark doesn’t even mention it. My point is not at all to argue that Jesus birth was unimportant, but only to say that Mark is calling us to a fresh reckoning with the reality and power of the death of Christ. The whole last week of his life is bent toward the cross. He’s heading into the fire, and it all begins with this peculiar ride into Jerusalem on a colt. This week, will you intentionally consider afresh what the death of Christ means for your life?
For me this week sinfully takes on a different bent, for it is Masters week, the greatest week of the year for golf enthusiasts everywhere. Each day this week will be spent in anticipation of the nostalgia, adrenaline, and delight that is the Masters. And it all culminates in the back nine on Sunday at Augusta. It just doesn’t get any better than that. And yet, reading this passage again this morning I’m faced with Jesus’ last week. What must it have been like? What was on His mind? Did the time pass quickly, or did it crawl slowly as his crucifixion approached?
This last week for Jesus must have been much different than the thrill of “Masters week,” and yet so much more powerful. When Jesus turns his face toward Jerusalem and rides into it, He knows exactly what he is going to do. In the wake of the previous 3 years of his ministry are countless days spent inaugurating his kingdom in the most broken places of His world. He healed the sick, made the lame walk again, fed the hungry, forgave sin, and He did it every day all day. More than anyone else in history, He was entrenched in the brokenness of His creation. Knowing that sin has twisted this world in extreme, deep, nuanced, even mysterious ways, He goes to the only place that can fix it…death. And the weight He was carrying must have been enormous. Have you had those days and seasons in which the weight of your own sin was paralyzing? But I doubt if we’ll ever really know what it’s like to carry the weight of the sin of the whole world.
Consider this week the journey that Jesus took in this the last week of his life. How does the power of the death of Christ spill into your life? What hope does it give you? And consider the words of Spurgeon as you meditate:
“Sin has been pardoned at such a price that we cannot henceforth trifle with it.”