Matthew 21:23–24:51; Mark 11:20–13:37; Luke 20:1–21:36; John 12:20–38; Isaiah 6:10
I’ve never paid much attention to Holy Tuesday. It’s a day of Jesus’ teaching sandwiched in the middle of Holy Week. It seems insignificant compared to his death and Resurrection, but in some ways I think we should pay the closest attention to these words.
I’ve often wondered what I would do or say if I knew I was going to die. And, as Christ was preparing for His sacrificial death, this day encompasses his final teachings. What was pressing on his heart? The Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus begins the day, heading back into the temple where He is approached by religious leaders who were upset that he had established himself as a spiritual authority. They had planned to ambush him and place him under arrest, cornering him with questions, but Jesus questions them in return: where had John the Baptist’s authority come from? Heaven or earth? They couldn’t answer. Because they did not want to look bad.
Later in the day, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, a prophetic description of Jerusalem’s destruction and the End Days. He doesn’t hold any punches. This is some intense stuff. He is warning us of what is to come, and much of this is still prophecy for us. He reveals His Second Coming and the Final Judgment through a series of parables, many of which you may be familiar with. But like me, maybe you didn’t realize these parables were taught days before his death and Resurrection:
- The Parable of the Two Sons
- The Parable of the Wedding Feast
- The Parable of the Tenants
- The Parable of the Ten Virgins
- The Parable of the Talents
Throughout these parables, Jesus is revealing who he is. He is revealing the coming Judgement and that He is the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. And they are missing it! So he gives a series of Woes to the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They fear man rather than God.
While the parables are enigmas, Jesus clearly states why He had come:
John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
John 12: 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.“
Even so, Isaiah prophesied that their hearts would be hardened. And John 12: 38 tells us that even though many believed, their fear of the religious leaders kept them from confessing it: “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
Within days of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus was betrayed into the hands of this unbelieving crowd. His sacrificial death made the way of forgiveness for those who would believe and trust in Him. Through His glorious Resurrection He conquered Sin and Death so He could fulfill God’s glorious plan and return one day to Judge the world.
When Christ returns, He will be coming as a Judge. It could happen any day. Are you ready? Do you fear the End Days or do you trust that His death and Resurrection made the way to save you from your sins?
Do you believe Jesus is who he says He is? And if you believe, do you confess it? Or, like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, does the fear of man keep you from living for the Lord?