The Teachings of Jesus Between Palm Sunday and Good Friday
Without question, some of the most powerful teachings of Jesus come from the week before His crucifixion and the 40 days following His resurrection. Christ rode into Jerusalem on what we now refer to as Palm Sunday and spent several days before His arrest teaching in and around the Temple. These incredible lessons from the last week of His earthly life are best captured in Matthew chapters 21 to 26 and Mark chapters 11 to 14.
The material in those chapters is rich and should be read and studied by Christians multiple times each year. In this blog, I will just provide a high-level overview of what I see as the three main lessons He taught and the one act we are to follow.
The action, of course, that we are to follow is our participation in communion. In the hours before He was arrested, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a way for us to remember the lethal sacrifice He – the King of Kings – made on our – sinful – behalf. I sometimes fear that Christians take this too lightly in the modern church. I encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to partake of communion regularly and to take it in a worthy (thoughtful and humble) manner.
The first of the three main lessons from that week is that the Kingdom of God, the coming New Testament church would be open to all people from all places and all races. It is true that Jesus is the King of the Jews but He is also the Lord of all. In addition to telling parables to make this point clear, Jesus also reiterated during this last week that citizenship in His Kingdom would be based on faith in Him and His righteousness and not on how well we were connected or how well we keep the Old Testament Law of Moses.
The second lesson is that Jesus will come back to claim His own but will do so at a completely unexpected time. Jesus tells us that He will return in the same way He left but that no one will know the day or the hour. Christians (and teachers from false religions) have spent way too much time worrying about and trying to figure out signs about the end of time. But if we pay attention to the teachings of Christ, we won’t waste our time on this pointless endeavor. Some mistakenly believe they can identify signs because they are misreading some of Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter 24. I have previously written a blog on that topic (which can be found here) to help clear those issues up.
The final lesson from that week is how we are to be active in our love for God by loving others in practical, tangible ways. A Christian should absolutely be involved in church worship and Bible study, we should pray and give money to the church and other Christian charities. But Jesus makes sure to point out in His final days that how we treat others, how we sacrifice on behalf of others is a critical factor in displaying our love and gratitude for God and His love and grace. Each Christian must ask themselves if they are truly loving their neighbors as they love themselves.
Andy’s book, Clear Vision: How The Bible Teaches Us To View The World, can be purchased here.