Did you ever have one of those weeks where there was just so much that needed to be done, and it all had to be done before the end of the week? The next week would be too late. There was no time to procrastinate, but you just didn’t know how you would get it all done. Deadlines loomed and the pressed in from all sides.
I think that is how Jesus must have felt during that last festival of the Passover. There was still so much that He needed to do before His arrest and crucifixion. There were so many lessons He needed to teach the disciples before He would be with them no longer.
As I’ve been reading through the Gospels again this Lenten season, I’ve noticed how many of the important events and lessons came between the triumphal entry that we celebrate on Palm Sunday and the betrayal by Judas Iscariot in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple. Matthew 21:12-17.
- Jesus told many parables, including the parable of the two sons (Matthew 21:28-32), the parable of the tenants who killed the landowner’s servants and son (Matthew 21:33-46), the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14), the parable of the ten bridesmaids, only five of whom were ready when the bridegroom arrived (Matthew 25:1-13), and the parable of the servants who were entrusted with talents of silver (Matthew 25:14-30).
- Jesus answered questions about whether taxes should be paid to Caesar (Matthew 22:15-22), about marriage at the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33), and about what is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40).
- Jesus gave His great warning against hypocrisy to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, calling them a brood of vipers (Matthew 23).
- Jesus taught about the destruction of the Temple and the end times (Matthew 24), and about the final judgment when the goats will be separated from the sheep (Matthew 25:31-46).
- Jesus shared the last supper, the last Passover meal, with His disciples in the upper room, during which He washed their feet, predicted His betrayal, instituted the sacrament of communion with the bread and the wine, His body and blood (Matthew 26:17-30; John 13).
- Jesus taught His disciples that He is the way to the Father, and promised the Holy Spirit would come to them after He was gone (John 14).
- Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him, to which Peter objected (Mark 14:27-31).
- Jesus prayed at Gethsemane, and submitted to the will of the Father, then found His disciples sleeping (Mark 14:32-42).
When I think about all that Jesus accomplished in this one week, most importantly that He accomplished the ultimate sacrifice for my sins, I realize that even the busiest of my weeks is a piece of cake by comparison. Never have I had to impart so much wisdom and right so many wrongs in all my life, much less in a single week.
I believe Jesus was able to accomplish all that He set out to do because He took time out of this busy schedule to pray and maintain His contact with His Father in Heaven. If God can achieve all that He did during this Holy Week, surely He can help me pull off whatever is on my puny to-do list. All I need to do is trust and pray.
So the next time you are facing a particularly busy week, with deadlines looming and tasks piling up, remember the One who accomplished exceedingly more in a single week than you will have to do in a lifetime. Stop and take a moment to ask Him to help you tackle your to-do list.