ODJ: Because of Sunday

April 16, 2017 

READ: Mark 10:32-34 

The angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” (16:6).

What would you do if you only had one week to live? Would you touch base with a few friends? Spend time with your family? Knowing He had less than a week to live, Jesus responded very differently than many of us would—courageously making the journey to Jerusalem while preparing His followers for His death.

On Sunday, the crowds cheered His entrance into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11). Monday, He chased thieves out of the temple—calling it “a house of prayer” (vv.15-17). Tuesday, the temple leaders questioned His authority (vv.27-28). The Pharisees and other religious leaders also questioned Him about paying taxes and the greatest commandment (12:13- 34). On Wednesday, one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot, began to plot His demise (14:10-11).

On Thursday, after a Passover meal during which Jesus prepared His disciples for life after His death, Judas betrayed Him to religious leaders who had Him arrested (vv.43-46). On Friday, they handed Jesus over to Roman authorities who had Him beaten and then crucified on a cross (15:15).

As the reality of Jesus’ death sank into the hearts of His followers on Saturday, so did despair—for their hopes died with Him. But then came His amazing resurrection on Sunday morning! (16:1-7).

The events of Jesus’ last week shows that because of Jesus and His love we can face the trials of today in His strength. Because of Easter Sunday, we can enter the conflicts of Monday through Wednesday; we can embrace the betrayal of Thursday, the suffering and humiliation of Friday and the despair of Saturday.

Jesus’ resurrection gives us the ultimate assurance that even the most difficult realities of life in our present broken world will not have the final say.

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan: 1 Kings 10:1-13

Reflect on Galatians 2:20 and how the reality of Jesus being alive within you can provide hope and peace as you face conflicts and trials. 
How can you learn to imitate Jesus and His mindset as you face conflict and mistreatment? Is there a present hurt or loss in your life that Jesus’ resurrection can help you navigate today?