Passion Week: Wednesday

On Tuesday evening, Jesus had gone out to the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37) likely with his disciples after a day filled with teaching. The Bible is strangely silent regarding Jesus’ activities on Wednesday. It is possible (though not confirmed by scripture) that Jesus spent this day resting after two exhausting days of teaching and spent time with his disciples. It is likely from what we know of Jesus that this time was also spent in prayer. It is again very likely that Jesus spent this time in the little village of Bethany where many believed on Jesus after the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:45) or in the Mount of Olives. (I would note that the little village of Bethany was two miles or about a 20 to 30 minute walk outside the city of Jerusalem).

To truly grasp the picture, we must remember that the bustle of the Passover was certainly upon Jerusalem at this time. Respected scholars estimate that the population of Jerusalem swelled to six times its normal population over the time of the Passover. The city was busy at this time, people opened their houses to friends and family as well as to strangers, and tents popped up on the little hillsides around the imposing walls of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem became so packed at this time that history records that the bridges and roads coming into Jerusalem were repaired and fixed prior to the Passover each year to be able to sustain the crowds that would arrive.

While the Paschal Lamb was resting, Satan was busy. It was on this day that the chief priests and scribes decided they must misuse their authority to get rid of Jesus in some manner (Matt. 26:3-5; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-2). It was a tradition of the Jews that malefactors should be put to death at one of the three feasts, especially those whom they considered to be rebels and imposters, that all Israel might see and fear. Yet, the chief priests and scribes feared the people, although they did not fear God (Luke 22:2). It was also on this day that Judas Iscariot performed his treasonous deed in going to the chief priests and captains to determine how he could betray Jesus (Matt. 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6). It is very likely that the event where Jesus was invited to the house of Simon the leper and Mary Magdalene came and anointed his feet (Matt. 26: 6-13) occurred on this day as well. Jesus himself concludes the evening with the solemn notice that Mary had just anointed his body for his burial (Matt 26:12).

Although commentators speculate, I can find no indication in scripture for where Jesus spent Wednesday night. Most likely, it was to either the little village of Bethany or the Mount of Olives where Jesus retired for the night. At this time Jesus is approximately thirty-six hours from his crucifixion. The dilemma of Jesus divinity is that he knows fully what is coming. Jesus knows what the pain and torment, the shame and the anguish will feel like. He knows fully what every pound of the hammer will feel like, the anguish of having the cross then stood up and socked into the ground. Yet Jesus also knows how you and I feel when we are trapped in the galls of sin. He knows how you and I will feel someday when the cleansing power of Jesus’ shed blood pours into my and your life. Jesus knows how glorious it will be to enter into the Resurrection and empower that Resurrection for you and me. Jesus knows exactly what it will be like to step into the courts of His Father in Heaven after he has gone to the depths of hell and conquered its forces forever. And most of all, Jesus knows how glorious it will be to see you and me live in victory over sin. Jesus knows how glorious it will be to see you and me enter into His Resurrection! Jesus knows and can already feel on that Wednesday evening the tremendous joy in the courts of Heaven when you and I step into the presence of Jesus on the Resurrection Day! And so Jesus is willing! Jesus is willing! Jesus is willing to endure for you and me! Why-simply so that you and I can experience Resurrection Power!

What are you and I doing with this Resurrection Power? Is the power of the Resurrection flowing from your life and my life today? Today, you and I have the power and ability to swing the hammer, pounding the nails into Jesus’ body by betraying him through sin. Yet, you and I also have the much greater power today to roll back the stone upon the Resurrection Power of Jesus in my life and your life by living in victory over sin! May the hammers be laid down, and the stones be rolled back-Today! Jesus is Alive! Hallelujah! In heaven, yes, but also in every heart that will receive, love, and serve him! Alive in my heart, and I trust Alive in your heart as well! Hallelujah!

Blessing to you as you consider the events of Passion Week and enter into the suffering, crucifixion, and glorious resurrection of Jesus!

Author: Curvin Gordon