A pandemic is the perfect backdrop for Holy Week. The first Holy Week followed a series of horrific plagues and began with God’s people fleeing in haste. On this Holy Week of 2020, let’s join Jesus at some of the pivotal moments of His week. Often in those passages, we see the burden on Jesus’ heart: He was troubled, anxious in heart. Emotions are part of the human experience. So, as we enter into this holy time with hearts made vulnerable by COVID-19, let us share in the ‘sufferings of Christ’ and yet rejoice knowing our passage to the Promised Land is paid!
PARABLES OF THE PASSION WEEK
What an incredible Revival Week, Jesus’ Passion Week Parables provides. The depths of Christ’s teaching in this week are a feast this brief devotional only scans. Bless your spirit and take time to delve deep into these!
Jesus understood these were His last teachings on earth. As always, every word He spoke came from the Father. In each teaching, He pleads for a right view of the Kingdom. The day (or perhaps days of teaching) began with the Fig Tree we mentioned yesterday. The power of believing prayer casts mountains into the sea! Jesus said, ‘All things are possible to those who believe!’ His passion this week was to sow seeds of belief…to reveal wrong ways and wrong thinking.
The reason for parables involves timing and readiness of heart. The Song of Solomon oft repeats the phrase, ‘Awaken not love before its time.’ Jesus gave truth in parables that only those whose hearts were ready would receive it. Parables offer a protective power to those not ready for truth.
In the Passion Week, Jesus started with the story of two sons whose actions revealed their intentions. You can hear His heart pleading for us to go deeper than words. Jesus then shared the parable of the tenants who rejected and disrespected those the Master sent. Finally, He spoke of the wedding feast most invitees were uninterested (and even scornful) of attending. The message was consistent and clear in all three. It bounced off the hard hearts of the Pharisees who simply conjured up challenges to fend off the painful truth Jesus delivered.
Jesus directly said, “You’ve gone astray. You don’t understand the Scriptures of the power of God.” And He began to detail the ways…the woes…hard hearts create. Jesus unveiled the coming end times still pleading in parables for true believers to be watchful (fig tree), prepared (ten virgins), invested (talents) and looking toward the final judgment (sheep & goats).
The Savior’s messages to the Pharisees are to us as well. Let your heart hear His plea and refuse to respond as a Pharisee. Allow the wound to make room for the Truth…for Jesus.
As you walk through Holy Week today, consider:
- Pick one (or more) of the parables and listen deeply. Put yourself in the parable…imagine the feelings of the son who refused to work…then imagine yourself as the son who said you would work but did not. Then consider the love of the Father who pleads for you to come talk to Him…in every situation.
- When have you lost sight of Jesus…even if outwardly you still read your Bible, went to church?
- How has COVID-19 sharpened your eyesight to Jesus so you can say more whole-heartedly, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’