Trying to sort the events of Holy Week into real-time days, I’ve found that Tuesday is a bit of an issue. Jesus appears to spend the whole day teaching. From Mark 11:20 to 13:37, all he does is talk. And occasionally walk. There is nothing I can artistically write over a hipster picture that sums up the day, when he swings from paying poll-tax to the destruction of the temple, to the most important commandment, to the legitimacy of John’s baptism…it goes on and on. Except reading it again, there is something that stands out.
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Jesus has spent all day saying provocative things to powerful people. His disciples, spending the day with Him, must have seen the faces of the Chief Priests. They must have noticed that questions are posed in the hopes of trapping Him. They must have been tempted to bundle Him out of there and go and sit somewhere quiet where He can’t say anything outrageous, and then, just as they finally get Him out of the temple, and think they’re on safe ground discussing architecture, Jesus tells them that all of the buildings will be destroyed to nothing.
I can picture this so clearly. I can see myself there, wincing. Part of me is properly annoyed that He couldn’t just appreciate the columns. Part of me wants Him to stop saying those things. And part of me is with Peter, James, John and Andrew, getting in a quiet corner and asking what He’s talking about, maybe so that I’m ready. Maybe so that I’m nowhere near.
Holy Week is hard. My Lent readings have had me already read about Good Friday, so I can tell you from experience: walking this road is brutal, and I wasn’t even there.
Here’s the other thing: Jesus knew what was coming, and He kept teaching.
He knew what was coming, and He kept saying the things that would get Him in trouble.
He knew what was coming, and He kept saying the hard things. The true things.
He knew what was coming, and He kept walking the road.
These middle days are important, not least because of just that: Jesus told us to follow Him. If Jesus walked this road, fully knowing everything that was going to happen, who am I to wimp out now?