What would you do if you knew you only had one week to live? How would you spend the time that you had left to you?
Max Lucado – “And the Angels Were Silent”
“When a man knows the end is near – only the IMPORTANT surfaces. Impending death distills the vital. The trivial is bypassed. The unnecessary is overlooked. That which is vital remains. So, if you would know Christ, ponder his final days… He knew the end was near. He knew the finality of Friday. He read the last chapter before it was written and heard the final chorus before it was sung. As a result, the critical was centrifuged from the casual. Distilled truths taught. Deliberate deeds done. Each step calculated. Every act premeditated. Knowing he had just one week with the disciples, what did Jesus tell them? Knowing it would be his last time in the temple, how did he act? Conscious that the last sand was slipping through the hourglass, what MATTERED? Let’s follow Jesus on his final journey. For by observing his, we may learn how to MAKE OURS.”
What Did Jesus Do As He Prepared To Die?
• How did He act?
• How did He respond to people?
• How did He stay focused?
• What can we Learn from Jesus about Facing Death?
1. JESUS FACED HIS DEATH SQUARELY.
— As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus RESOLUTELY set out for Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51 – New Int’l Version)
— Jesus gathered up his courage and STEELED HIMSELF for the journey to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51 – The Message)
— They were now on the way to Jerusalem, and JESUS WAS WALKING AHEAD OF THEM. The disciples were filled with dread… Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him… “When we get to Jerusalem, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, beat him with their whips, and kill him.” (Mark 10:32-34 – New Living Translation)
2. JESUS FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE.
— Jesus: “But on the third day, he WILL rise to life again!” (Luke 18:33 – New Century Version)
— How could Jesus be so confident about this?
— “I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side, I will not be hurt… Even my body has hope, because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your holy one rot.” (Psalm 16:8-11 – New Century Version)
— “David wasn’t referring to himself when he spoke these words… for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here… David was looking into the future and predicting the Messiah’s resurrection… that the Messiah would not be left among the dead and that his body would not rot in the grave. This prophecy was speaking of Jesus…” Acts 2:29,31-32 – New Living Translation)
3. JESUS CONTINUED TO INSTRUCT HIS FOLLOWERS.
— The disciples didn’t understand a thing he said. It’s significance was hidden from them, and they failed to grasp what he was talking about. (Luke 18:34 – New Living Translation)
— Then the mother of Zebedee’s son came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him… “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom”… When the ten heard about this, they were indignant. (Matthew 20:20-21,24 – New International Version)
— “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even, I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served, but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28 – New Living Translation)
4. JESUS CARED FOR THOSE IN NEED.
— Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder… Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:30-31,34 – New International Version)
5. JESUS FULFILLED HIS FATHER’S PLAN.
— Jesus: “By myself, I can do nothing… for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” (John 5:30 – New Int’l Version)
— Jesus: “I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38 – NIV)
— Jesus: When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” (John 8:28-29 – New International Version)
— An Example:
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near… the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:35-38 – NIV)