Holy Week is an opportunity for us to take the time to clear away the clutter and busy of our lives to focus on those things that are of eternal importance. So often our thoughts and hearts get distracted by things that don’t feed our souls. This week, I am making the time to meditate on some of the things that I believe Jesus wanted to convey to His disciples during His final week before the cross. I hope you will do the same, and that you will find these four meditations help you to walk through this week with Jesus.
1. Jesus set the example and taught the importance of obedience. John 12 & 15
Every step on Jesus’ journey to the cross was a step of obedience to the will of the Father. It never entered His mind that He would disobey. In John 12:50, Jesus says, “I know that His (God’s) command leads to eternal life.”
See, disobedience is all about temporary convenience and comfort. But obedience is all about eternity. Obedience sees beyond what makes me happy today and instead focuses my heart’s attention on building those things in my soul that are of everlasting value.
Holy Week is a time to examine my heart for my commitment to obedience. Where in my life do I consistently disobey, or simply not listen for His command?
2. Jesus taught us how to love. John 13 & 15
Don’t you know those were some dirty feet that Jesus washed that night? So dirty that everyone in the room must have been aware- I mean let’s face it- dirty feet smell pretty bad. Especially with what those men had to have walked through. But only Jesus got up, took that basin and towel, and cleansed their feet.
Jesus saw a need, and with that need He saw an opportunity to show His disciples what true love looks like. Love doesn’t ignore my dirty feet. Love doesn’t acknowledge my dirty feet and shrug it off with a “live and let live” attitude.
No, love gets on its hands and knees and scrubs; love gets the dirt from my feet under its fingernails and dirty water on its clean clothes.
When He finished, He asked them a question that, in my heart, I hear Him ask me every day: “Do you understand what I have done for you?” Every day, I understand it more.
3. Jesus showed us our source of hope. John 14 & 16
The grief and trouble this world holds for us is evident every day. But the good news of Holy Week is summed up in Jesus’ words in John 16:20 when He says, “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy;” and in verse 33 when He says, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus promised those of us who believe in Him that this world is not our final home. He is preparing a place for us in Heaven, and one day, He will take us home to be with Him. One day, our faith will be sight, we will see Him face to face- the one that our hearts have longed for.
During this final week of His life, tragedy and sorrow would cloud the disciples’ hearts. It would seem to them that all hope was lost. But instead, because of Jesus’ obedience on the cross, His sacrificial offering of Himself for our sins, our hope was being assured for all eternity.
4. Jesus prayed for our unity. John 15 & 17
One of my favorite Jesus quotes is found in John 15:16, where He says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
Let me give you a glimpse in my heart for a moment- I am rarely chosen by anyone for anything. At least, nothing that would be considered of any importance.
But Jesus chose me. Me, of all people!
Right now, as I think through my circle of fellow brothers and sisters, I can say the same thing about them as well. We all have been chosen by Christ.
Here’s the thing. We all are human and sometimes our ideas or our personalities clash. And sometimes this leads to division, anger, bitterness, and all other sorts of ugliness.
When Jesus prayed for us in the Garden before He was arrested, He specifically prayed that we would be unified. Not around ideas, issues, or even other people. He prayed that we would be unified around Him.
Unity happens when we honor the chosen-ness of our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we put aside the disagreements and love and serve each other the way Jesus taught us how.