Jesus, knowing he was at the completion of his journey on Earth, took his disciples into a pre-arranged room to observe the Passover feast. During this time, as they sit at the meal, Jesus removes his outer clothing, wraps a towel around his waist and kneels before each man to wash their feet. Peter objects, but soon submits and allows Jesus to show this last private moment of his servant-hood to his close friends. After this, he sits with them and breaks bread which represents his body and offers the cup representing his blood that would soon be shed for the world. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul writes that we should observe these same sacraments showing the Lord’s death until he returns. And that is what I believe we should do today on this special day where we remember Christ’s death and resurrection.
There are two statements that Jesus made that were to come to pass very soon; the pinnacle of his ministry….
Matt 20:17-19a Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified.”
Jesus purposed within himself to warn the disciples a third time of his death. This was a private moment that I’m sure, just as Jesus shed a tear for Lazarus, was emotional. He thought it critical enough that he did not delay, but told them on the side (privately) as they traveled. He was more descriptive this time. He was attempting to ready his friends for the traumatic experience they were to encounter. His fore-warning was aimed at creating a mindset of fore-arming that the disciples would use to impact the world.
Understand some of the factors that went into Jesus’ condemnation, sentencing, and execution. He suffered at hand of Jews, but was delivered to Gentiles (Romans) to be executed. The Jews understood exactly what they were doing in accusing Jesus of wrong not done (but were blinded), and the Gentiles were handed the dirty work. Neither the Jews nor the Gentiles knew that with each having a hand in the death of Jesus, his resurrection would bring about salvation for all peoples. Everyone has the ability to have his or her sins forgiven. I would argue the fact that God had every person represented in some way there.
These were typical practices of crucifixion, but get this….Romans (Gentiles) mock and flog Jesus because his would-be kingdom rejects him…written charge announced to all in Latin, Greek, and Aramaic so that all who passed would understand the reason Jesus was hanging there.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. You see, in the second half of verse 19, Jesus says “On the third day he will be raised to life!”
Death is not the end of the story!!! There’s still more to come!!! Don’t change the channel or get up for a potty break, because here comes the climax!!!
He died on Friday, but it’s Sunday now……He’s coming back!!! And guess what? He’s got keys in his hand!!! He stopped a little demonic ho-down going on in the pits of hell, and now even the holy dead are jumping out of their graves (Matt 27:52)!!!
John 10:10b I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Right now, He’s expectantly waiting on you. He took it all; every sin; every sickness; every sorrow. Some things you have surrendered to him. Some things you are still holding onto. I want you to write one thing that is under the Blood of Jesus Christ and fold your paper. Then write one more thing that you want to trust him with today, and fold it once more.
Now I want you to come and say, “I choose your life, Jesus!!!” Then, take a few minutes around this altar with your Savior, Redeemer, Friend.