The Week that Jesus Changed the World
by Wendy Fitzgerald
After Jesus prayed in the upper room, He and His disciples walked across the Kidron Valley to an olive grove called Gethsemane. This was a common place for Jesus to go with His disciples, so after a time of prayer, Judas, knowing where Jesus would be, arrived leading a group of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees.
The next events of the night are events with which most of us are very familiar. Jesus was arrested and taken to stand trial before the Jewish council who decided that He should be put to death. Because they were not allowed to pronounce the death sentence, they had to take Jesus to the Roman officials for approval. This was done in three phases. First, Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate. When Pilate found that Jesus was a Galilean, to avoid having to make the decision, he sent Him to Herod who was in Jerusalem. Herod was excited to see Jesus perform a miracle, but when Jesus would not perform on command, Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate to make the final death judgment. Again, Pilate tried to talk the Jewish leaders out of their decision by offering to release a prisoner, which was their custom. The Jewish leaders chose to release a known murderer named Barabbas. Finally, after trying everything he could to release Jesus, Pilate, wanting to avoid a riot, washed his hands of the blame of the death of Jesus and handed Him over for crucifixion.
After being beaten beyond recognition, Jesus was taken to the hill of Golgotha where He hung on a cross until He paid for the sins of the world with His death. This again was the New Testament fulfillment of an Old Testament promise. In Genesis 22, we find Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice his only son Isaac on Mount Moriah. The picture of a father sacrificing his only son is just the beginning of the Old Testament picture of redemption that God painted for us. For not only did He provide a lamb for the offering, God promised that through Abraham’s offspring all of the earth would be blessed. That offspring through which the entire world would be blessed is Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God.
Read Genesis 22:14
“So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Take a minute to really let the final sentence of this verse permeate your thoughts. On the night of Christ’s death, that promise was fulfilled on a hill called Golgotha, which is part of Mount Moriah! God’s son was the provision given on the mountain. Jesus, our Messiah, died to give us life. Even in death, there is victory!
Today as you remember the death of Jesus, remember that God’s plan for His death was because of a great love for you!
Six Minutes of Prayer:
Day One: One minute praising God for sending His Son to be our Messiah
Day Two: Add one minute asking God to show you who to pray for and invite to church
Day Three: Add one minute asking God to show you how to forgive and love
Day Four: Add one minute asking God to reveal small sin footholds, and then confess and repent of that sin
Day Five: Add one minute asking God to help you be bold in your faith
Day Six: Add one minute thanking God for showing His love in the details of His death