IN THE INTERIM
Easter Sunday, with few exceptions, falls in the month of April. Some years it falls in the month of March. But this year Easter along with Holy Week falls in April. Days to observe are Palm Sunday (Jesus enters Jerusalem), Maundy Thursday (the Last Supper and Jesus is arrested, Good Friday (the trial and crucifixion of Jesus), and of course Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection. At First Baptist Church we will observe Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.
It is interesting how the gospels communicate the last week of Jesus’ life. The Bible has four books dedicated to describing Jesus’ earthly life and ministry. We all know, these books are the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. What’s amazing is how much the Gospels focus on the final week of Jesus’ life. Keep in mind that the actual ministry of Jesus lasted a period of approximately three years. A third of the Gospels is devoted to the last week of His earthly life. The following is a breakdown:
- A third of Matthew, from Matthew 21-28
- A third of Mark, from Mark 11-16
- A quarter of Luke, from Luke 19-24
- Nearly half of John, from John 12-20
The Gospel of John is the most concentrated upon the last week of Jesus earthly life. Additionally, nearly a third of the Gospel of John is dedicated to one day, from John 13-19.
This all illustrates the importance that each of the Gospel writers placed on the importance of the last week of Jesus’ life. From the time Jesus entered the gates of Jerusalem, He revealed himself to the crowds more than any previous time or event.
He spoke to the people in parables. He taught from words of the ancient profits. The Pharisees attempted to challenge Him with questions they themselves could not answers. One of the most important and recognized is Matthew 22. “The Greatest Commandment”, Matthew 22:36-39, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus several times foretold of coming events which included persecution, betrayal, and even His own death and resurrection.
Holy Week is a wonderful time to read the last week events from at least one of the four Gospels. It reveals so very much of who Jesus was and who he is. I wish everyone a very safe and blessed Easter.
Yours in Christ.
Rev. John Carey