New Hope Church

Day 36 – Lenten Devotional


Jesus Knew Where His Path Would Lead

Matthew 20:17-19  17 As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”

Were the events of Holy Week simply the result of unfortunate circumstances that eventually lead the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman Governor to get rid of a rebellious carpenter from Nazareth?
Or was there a Divine design set in action that would result in eternal salvation?

Three times in the Gospel of Matthew Jesus spoke to His disciples of what was about to occur during this week (Mt 16:21; 17:23; 20:17-19). He would be delivered to the religious leaders, condemned to death, His crucified body pouring blood out on the wooden beam and post of the cross, yet He would rise on the third day.

Make no mistake! The plan of God was deliberate and planned, not circumstantial. Jesus knew what was about to happen. The incarnation and life of Jesus was destined to lead to this particular time (Passover), in this particular place (Jerusalem) for the Father’s particularly glorious plan (Salvation).

Jesus entered Jerusalem during the week of the Passover celebration (Matt 26:17, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:7, John 13:1), a pilgrimage of thousands of Jews to remember how the lamb was to be sacrificed and it’s blood spread on the lintel and door posts so that the angel of death would pass over the faithful who acted on Moses command from God over 1,000 years before, recorded in Exodus, chapter 12.

The living Lamb of God walked the streets of Jerusalem after His triumphal entry on Sunday. On Monday He entered the Temple and overturned the tables of the money changers and drove them out SAYING, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’ ” (Mat 21:13). Tuesday Jesus had several theological altercations with the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees (Jewish religious leaders); He foretold of the destruction of the Temple; Jesus spoke to His disciples of the end times; and concluded with several parables of watchfulness, faithfulness and judgment (Mt 24-25).

The next few days would rock the understanding of His disciples and bring plans of betrayal, Passover meal intimacy, trial, condemnation, crucifixion and burial! Although they did not understand, Jesus knew His sacrificial fate and its purpose.

REFLECT:  Jesus Passion Week was no accident. Jesus knew His purpose in His Father’s plan. Remember that those without Spiritual eyes cannot discern the things of God. Secular commentators on these events will look for every type of explanation other than what we know is true…God’s plan was and is perfect! .

REPENT:  Change your ways.  Pray to God that the Holy Spirit opens your heart to “see” the God driven complexity of Holy Week…His time, place and true purpose of the Savior.

RESTORE: Read the Holy Week Tuesday parables of Jesus in Mathew 25 and learn what it means to be watchful and faithful, with understanding of the fullness of time of the God who saves.

Galatians 4:4-6 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Pastor Tom Bellhy