If you knew the last week of your life would bring you great suffering on behalf of others, would you willingly accept that suffering?
If you knew your last days would take you into hostile territory, a place you loved, a place where you had served, would you go anyway? If, in your final week, you looked upon the country you love knowing she loved you not, would you weep? If, in your last days you went to your church to pray and found people sinning blatantly against God, would you speak against them and drive them out? If, in the final chapter of your life, knowing of your mission to speak the truth of God’s love and His masterful plan to save the world, would you speak this truth even if people didn’t believe you, even if it meant dying? If you had only one message to leave behind, would you testify that Jesus is the Son of God and tell others to believe Him, trust Him, love Him, serve Him, and tell others about Him? If you could spend your last week teaching believers how to be more like Jesus, convincing unbelievers of their need for the Savior, and silencing the naysayers, would you? If you knew those in authority, leaders you should be able to trust, in bloodthirsty, power-hungry ambition, were plotting to kill you, would you hang around for the outcome? If you told your friends what was about to happen in these final hours and they still didn’t “get you,” would you continue to be patient with them? Could you feast with them and sing a hymn with them in celebration? If you had one last chance on your last night, would you pray for relief? Would you pray for your friends and family and their salvation. Would you pray for the generations yet to come? Would you seek your heavenly Father in complete submission to His will? Would you surrender? Jesus did. In the last week, He did all of these things and more. He taught the people what they needed to know, and when they didn’t comprehend, He taught them again and again. When He was rejected by those people who should know better, He didn’t give up on mankind; He prayed for us. Jesus didn’t dine with royalty at the Last Supper. He broke bread with his friends, and His betrayer. He drank the cup, knowing His blood would be the Cup poured out for them, and for us. Modeling humility and service, He washed His disciples’ feet. Jesus languished in the Garden of Gethsemane. He anguished, spending the night in prayer till His sweat was like drops of blood, asking His Father for another way, yet accepting the Only Way. He stood trial, completely innocent. He remained silent in spite of the perfect defense. He was sentenced to death, yet found not guilty. He bore the cross upon which He died, with every sin ever committed by every person ever alive having been pounded onto His bruised and battered body and driven into His hands and feet with crude and brutal nails. Jesus suffered rejection, emotional torment, the ultimate attack from Satan, betrayal, denial, condemnation, brutal beatings, humiliation, the weight of the world’s sin on His crucified body and utter despair at the separation from His Father; then He died. Yet this was not the end. We know the last week was just a taste of what was to come. We know that death was just the beginning. We know that resurrection morning, Jesus arose victorious. If we have accepted Him as our Savior, we know our own resurrection awaits us. Yet, before we celebrate Easter, in light of what Jesus did for us, let’s examine within ourselves the sacrifices we are willing to make in order to live fully in the power of the resurrection today and every day! Let’s live every day as if a day in the last week.