We begin our countdown. We count down the days to our Calvary. We have just followed our Rabbi Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. We behold all the sights and sounds of a great city in preparation for their greatest celebration of Passover. There is so much to see and so much to take in. We walk close by our Teacher.
Our natural inclination is to place ourselves in the centre of everything and to think how we are going to be affected by it all, before we consider the needs, necessities or feelings of others – before we consider the desire of God’s heart.
Indeed, even when we do try our best to exhibit the ‘caring concern’, our Rabbi has taught us these past three years, how often our choices are rooted in selfish pride, knowing our ‘thoughtful’ actions will excite the applause of others and feed our ego, which only results in a selfish smugness or a self-absorbed pride!!
We are so incredibly self-centered. And yet, his was not the attitude of the Lord Jesus Who set aside His heavenly glory in order to be made in the likeness of sinful man. Jesus looked to the needs of others before He considered Himself.
We see the man, the One Who is the very essence of God, and Who is complete in Himself considered our needs and mine before His own, when He emptied Himself… and took upon Himself the form of a slave – for He knew that the sacrifice of Himself was the only way that we could be saved from our scarlet sins; our gross sinfulness; our selfish smugness and our self-absorbed pride.
We walk with the man and we do not think about, know how or why God the eternal Son and divine Creator did not try to keep hold of all that is His by right of His unique position and person, but humbled Himself on the back of a foal and laid aside His kingly glory, in order to become subject to His Father and live as man was originally created to live – only doing those things that He heard from His Father and only acting only on the instructions of the Holy Spirit.
These things are not in our minds. But they should be. They should be focused on the lessons yet to be learned, on the life yet to be lived in these coming days. There is so much left to be grasped – we cannot comprehend even .001% of it. There is so much going on around us – too much “traditional preparation” to consider – to be sure we get everything our Rabbi needs to recount the Passover.
But what lessons are being lost in our impossible haste to make all preparation? What are we too busy to see? What ‘things of man’ do we scramble around for? What things of heaven are we “stepping over” as we prepare for our Passover? In those ancient moments these Disciples lived, what were they interested in?
We have the benefit of history – they the unrecognized blessings of the moment as each moment proceeded. They were focused on following in the dust of their Rabbi – How were they to know, prepare themselves for the reality of Calvary? What did they “know” of their Rabbi? What did they accept of these moments?
So, we enter into our own countdown of days to our Calvary. We are challenged daily to let THIS mind be in us that was in Christ Jesus… to choose to follow the path of the cross by setting aside our own natural inclination to place self on the throne of our lives – and in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit… by means of the new life of Christ – to finally empty ourselves of ‘Self’ become a servant of all – for His sake Who loved us so much that He died that we all might live.
I just want to speak the name of Jesus ….
I just want to think with the mind of Jesus ….
I just want to live life as Jesus teaches us to live ….
I just want to love God as Jesus teaches us to Love God ….
I just want to love my neighbor as Jesus taught me to love my neighbor ….
I just want to love life as Jesus teaches us to love life ….
I just want to serve as Jesus teaches us to serve …..
But first, I must make my walk to my Calvary as Jesus did ….
Let the countdown of days begin ….
For the JOY which was before Him ….
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
God who is my Father, by your grace, teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your Holy Spirit lead me on level ground. I see your faithfulness and goodness in what you have done for me throughout my life. I think about these things, and I thirst for you. Let me hear of your unfailing love every morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Keep me on firm footing for the glory of your name. Gloria! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.