Holy Week Day 4: Spy Wednesday

Holy Week With Jesus: Daily Reflections on the Final Days of Jesus

(download your free Holy Week reading guide here)

Suggested Readings: Luke 21 and Mark 14:1-11

On Spy Wednesday, Jesus continued his teaching, which only riled up Jewish leaders even more, but the tipping point came when a woman honored Jesus by anointing him with really expensive oil. This didn't sit well with Judas, who went straight to the religious authorities and offered to deliver Jesus into their hands.

It seems that Jesus was the kind of man you either loved or hated. There aren't any people in the gospel accounts who are kind of OK with him. None who are ambivalent. None who are on the fence. It's one extreme or the other. 

In today's reading, we see both. We see the people who were so completely captivated by his teaching that they flocked to him and hung on his every word. We see the leaders who hated him and all that he represented so desperately that they start covertly plotting his death. We see the woman who loved him so deeply that she gave up her most precious possession for him. And we also see the man who resented him so fully that he outright betrayed him.

It's no wonder that Holy Week ended the way it did. Such a vast difference of opinions was bound to result in violence.

The question for you and for me, then, is one of identity. Who do you identify with in this story?

I pray that in the end I'm more like her than the others. I want to honor Jesus with all that I have. I want to be extravagant in the way that I serve him. I want him to look at me and say, "Well done, sister. You have done beautiful things for me. You have done what you could."

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Holy Week Day 3: Holy Tuesday

Reflections on #Holy Week from Leslie Ann Jones #HolyWeekWithJesus

(download your free Holy Week reading guide here)

Suggested Readings: Psalm 118:19-27Psalm 110, and Luke 20

On Holy Tuesday, temple leaders challenged Jesus by putting him to the test. Literally. They raised a number of theological debates with him and questioned both his teaching and his God-given authority, but no matter how hard they tried, they couldn't stump him.

It's been good for me to slowly walk through these passages. They come to mind throughout the day, and I'm finding that as the unrest in Jerusalem grows, so also does the unrest in my heart. The hard truth is that he was there, facing hostility and opposition, for my sake and for yours. If not for our sin, his death would not have been necessary.

I may not have been there setting traps for him and conspiring against him, but I am just as guilty for his death. Thank God for his incredible mercy and his marvelous grace. I need it today.

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Holy Week Day 2: Holy Monday

Reflections on #HolyWeek from Leslie Ann Jones. #HolyWeekWithJesus

(download your free Holy Week reading guide here)

Suggested Readings: Isaiah 56:1-8 and Luke 19:41-48.

In today's #HolyWeekWithJesus readings, Jesus asserted his authority by throwing out anyone and everyone who was doing business inside the temple complex. The Jewish leaders were less than impressed with the display of power.

But I'm moved by the depth of the emotions he showed that day. He wept over the city. He was furious with those who would take advantage of his people. And he did something about it. 
It infuriated the authorities, because they could see what was really happening. Jesus was acting like he had the right to question the machine. He had the audacity to call them out, and they were NOT pleased.

It's here on Holy Monday that the trickles of unease start to swell. Jesus was a problem that needed to be fixed, but as long as the people flocked to hear him teach, there was nothing the temple authorities could do about it. They didn't want to make a scene. So, they bided their time. They plotted. They planned. And they waited.

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Holy Week Day 1: Palm Sunday

Reflections on Palm Sunday: Holy Week With Jesus

(download your free Holy Week reading guide here)

Suggested Readings: Zechariah 9:9 and Luke 19:28-40

On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem with his disciples riding a borrowed donkey. He arrived to much celebration, but it was the beginning of the end of his human life.

There's such a stark contrast between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. The crowd went from shouts of acclamation to cries of indignation. From welcoming Jesus as the messiah to demanding his death for insurrection.

They welcomed him as their Savior. And they should have, because he was. He entered Jerusalem that day knowing exactly what was going to happen. He knew what he was marching into. He knew that declaring himself the Messiah would get himself killed.

And yet, he did it anyway. For you. For me. For all of us.

Hosanna, indeed.

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