I read a blog post today written by Michael Kelly.
A simple post. But one that made me think deeply. And might make you think deeply as well.
Here are his points on the question: “What would you do if you knew you were going to die on Friday?”
– Speak honestly about what angers you (Matthew 23:1-36).
– Provide perspective to those around you (Matthew 24).
– Reflect on what really matters (Matthew 25).
– Have dinner with friends (Matthew 26:26-30).
– Let those around know how much you love them (John 13:1-20).
– Comfort your friends with hope (John 14).
– Pray (Matthew 26:36-46).
I trust by now you see that all these things, are things that Jesus did as he approached his death on the cross. He had knowledge from His father that the time was coming for Him to become the sacrifice of the world. Did He know the date of His ensuing death during the entire time of His ministry? I’m not sure. But as the time grew closer, it becomes very apparent the His time was near. And as a result, we see subtle things in his behavior–clues, even–that Jesus is preparing for his death.
This list above is a beautiful list. To me, it shows me the humanity of Jesus. It shows me the relational Jesus who loved his friends. His compassion for his friends is tremendous. He comforts them. He spends time with them eating dinner together. He comforts His friends with hope. Jesus understood friendship. He understood love, compassion and hope. He understood the grief His friends would experience. And He himself grieved, as seen during his prayer in Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:36-46). Grieved deeply even as He accepted His Father’s will.
I expected those things of Jesus–His love, His compassion for His friends, even His grief. But I was caught off guard about two ideas.
First: He “spoke honestly about the things that angered Him”. Wow. It’s true…take a look in Matthew 23:1. He did. I’m still chewing on this concept. If I were dying this Friday, would I have the courage to speak out against the things that anger me? Like modern day slavery? Like abortion? Like the demise of traditional, Biblical marriage. Would I speak out against child sexual abuse? Would I speak out against sexual abuse that happens at the hands of ministers? Would I speak out against the more “mundane’ things–hypocrisy, gossip?
My Jesus was sinless. But would I speak out in anger against my very own sins? I don’t know. Would you?
The other thing that stood out to me, is that Jesus took time to reflect on what really matters. (Matthew 25) He took the time to teach about the kingdom. In this chapter, He taught some of the more difficult parables to understand. But vital parables. He didn’t have to take this time to urgently teach about the kingdom. But His reflection was vital. His focus was impeccable. His words were life changing.
If I knew that I was going to die this Friday, would I take the time to teach–urgently–about what really matters? Would I plead with my family and friends to about God; about eternity? Would I mourn all that I am giving up here on this earth, or would I look toward going home to heaven, and sharing my hope with those without hope? I don’t know. I would hope that I would.
This list is important. I plan to review it over the next few days as I prepare my soul to worship on Resurrection Sunday. I’m going to review these verses, with Jesus’ impending death in mind.
But not just with His death in mind, but with his Resurrection in mind as well.