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The Passion of Christ: Reflections on the Weeks Before the Cross

As Easter approaches, people around the world turn their hearts and minds to the profound events that took place in the weeks leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The final days of Jesus’ earthly ministry were marked by intense emotion, deep spiritual significance, and a demonstration of His unwavering love for humanity. This was a pivotal period in history, and as we reflect on the events that unfolded there are profound lessons we can glean from them.

The Triumphal Entry

The weeks before Jesus went to the cross began with the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, an event known as Palm Sunday. In Matthew 21:8-9, we read about the crowds spreading their cloaks and palm branches on the road, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

This momentous occasion fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 and symbolized Jesus’ role as the long-awaited Messiah. The people welcomed Him as a conquering king, but little did they know that His kingdom was not of this world and that His victory would be won through sacrificial love on the cross.

The Last Supper

One of the most poignant events in the weeks before Jesus’ crucifixion was the Last Supper, where Jesus shared a final meal with His disciples before His betrayal and arrest. In Luke 22:19-20, we read about Jesus instituting the sacrament of communion, saying, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

During this intimate gathering, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, demonstrating the servant leadership that He embodied. He also foretold His betrayal by Judas and Peter’s denial, preparing His disciples for the trials that lay ahead. The Last Supper serves as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrificial love and the profound significance of His impending death.

The Garden of Gethsemane

As the time drew near for Jesus to face the cross, He retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. In Matthew 26:39, we witness Jesus’ anguish as He prays to the Father, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

In this moment of intense emotional and spiritual struggle, Jesus submitted to the Father’s will, accepting the cup of suffering that lay before Him. His prayer of surrender exemplifies His obedience and willingness to endure the cross for the redemption of humanity. The Garden of Gethsemane serves as a powerful reminder of Jesus’ humanity and His unwavering commitment to fulfill His divine mission.

The Betrayal and Arrest

The weeks before Jesus went to the cross culminated in His betrayal by Judas Iscariot and His subsequent arrest by the religious authorities. In Matthew 26:48-50, we witness the heartbreaking moment when Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss, leading to His arrest and the beginning of His journey to the cross.

Despite the injustice and betrayal He faced, Jesus remained steadfast in His mission, knowing that His ultimate sacrifice would bring about the redemption of humanity. His arrest symbolizes the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation and the beginning of the culmination of His earthly ministry.

No matter what you were going through Jesus experienced the emotions the pain the questions. The Bible says he was able to experience every human feeling that we have ever had. The weeks leading up to his crucifixion encapsulate those feelings we can learn from each of these times in his life, where, once again, he gave his cares to the father he poured out his heart to God, the father, and submitted to his will. Salvation comes through surrender, so as we prepare to celebrate Easter this year, let’s take the time to examine our hearts and truly surrender to God.