Because we post the GH15s very early in the morning, they must be completed the evening before. Therefore, this post was completed Monday, before the arraignment of President Trump. I will comment on the arraignment in tomorrow’s post. However, before I read today’s, let’s briefly pray for him:
Father, we thank You for the way You have used Donald Trump. He was the most pro-life President America has ever had. Minorities prospered under his leadership more than under any other President. He protected America and supported Your causes.
We ask You to strengthen him in this time and give the outcome You desire regarding the charges against him. And we ask for Your will concerning his future to be accomplished. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Passion Week: The Man, Christ Jesus
We are entering the week leading up to Resurrection Sunday, often referred to as The Passion Week. Christ actually began experiencing the emotional pressure of what was coming several weeks before the Cross occurred. Most people fail to consider that Jesus was truly human, with real emotions and the ability to feel pain. He experienced grief, sorrow, anger, and disappointment, enjoyed friendships, knew joy and laughter, felt hunger and thirst, grew tired and sleepy. Though fully God, Jesus was also human, but without the Adamic fallen nature. He had to be in order to represent us as a legal substitute.
As one who was truly human, Christ didn’t simply flip over into God mode when things got tough in order to not experience the pain or trauma. Philippians 2:6-7 tell us that “although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Let Christ be human.
As I stated above, weeks before the Cross Christ began feeling the pressure. When He said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62), Jesus was thinking of Himself. The passage begins by saying, “Jesus let nothing distract him from departing for Jerusalem because the time for him to be lifted up drew near, and he was full of passion to complete his mission there.” (Luke 9:51 TPT)
Jesus knew that in Jerusalem He would face arrest, torture, and agonizing death. But He set off firmly and unflinchingly, committed to finishing His mission. There would be no backing out, and nothing would deter Him from accomplishing His purpose. Isaiah prophesied this determination: “The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back. I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Lord God helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:5-7 NASB).
Christ knew this passage was speaking of Him and realized He was entering the season of its fulfillment. So He set His face like flint, put His hand to the plow, and turned toward Jerusalem, beginning what would become His final trek to this city. Traveling by foot and stopping along the way to minister and rest, the journey would take several weeks.
Luke, in his gospel, reveals the humanness of Christ more than the other Gospel writers. Under Holy Spirit’s guidance, each Gospel writer had a different goal in his writing. This is why each man shared different (not contradictory) accounts of Christ’s works and teachings. Matthew, for example, wrote his Gospel primarily to the Jews; he was, therefore, revealing Christ as the King of God’s Kingdom. Mark wrote to Romans; hence, he wrote of Jesus as a man of action, filled with power and under authority. John wrote to all humankind, presenting Him as truly God. Luke was writing primarily to Gentiles and Greeks; he presented the humanness of Christ - He was truly a man and, therefore, qualified to be our substitute at the Cross.
In revealing Christ’s humanness, Luke wants us to know that from this point onward, the pressure began building in the Son of Man. Jesus was having to remain very focused in order to deal with this pressure. Eleven times after the above verse (9:51), Luke mentions that Christ was journeying toward Jerusalem and, therefore, the Cross. He was focused on the mission and would not waver. In Chapter 12, Luke quotes Him as saying, “I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished” (verse 50). “Distressed” is the Greek word sunecho (Strongs 4912), a very strong word meaning “to be held fast, like a prisoner.” It also means “to be confined, constrained, pressed together so as to not be able to move (like a city under siege);” figuratively, sunecho meant “to be in a mental state of anguish.” Kenneth Wuest’s expanded and very literal translation of the New Testament renders this verse: “I have an immersion by which I will be overwhelmed, and I am being hard pressed from every side until it be consummated.”
In other words, though weeks out from the Cross, the strain in Christ was already very intense!
Jesus knew what was about to occur and was dreading it. The focus required in order to press on toward Jerusalem was so intense that it could be seen on His countenance. In Luke 9:53, Christ was rejected by a Samaritan village “Because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem.” Although there was great friction between Jews and Samaritans, Christ had earlier been accepted by a village in Samaria after ministering to “the woman at the well” (see John 4). On this occasion, however, they would not receive Him. Why? They were offended because He couldn’t seem to take His focus off Jerusalem.
What did this look like? There must have been many pensive gazes, perhaps even some grimaces, as Christ kept turning His face toward Jerusalem and the Cross. This became so obvious that the Samaritans, who were rejected and looked down upon by the Jews, had finally had enough. Of course, they didn’t understand. Noone did. This was something Christ was having to endure alone. And with His face set like flint, He journeyed on - moving toward His destiny. “And He was passing through from one village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem” (Luke 13:22).
For several weeks, the journey continued, and the pressure built until Jesus rounded the last curve and crested the last hill. When the city came into view, He burst into tears. Christ’s emotions were now raw, sensitive, and bottled up. Like a pent-up dam that could take no more pressure, He released His emotions. Jesus loved this city; He loved the people. Yet He knew Jerusalem would reject Him and, in the future, experience great devastation. As this mix of emotions erupted to the surface, Yeshua let it all out. And He did more than cry. Again, quoting from Wuest’s New Testament, “...having caught sight of the city, He burst into tears, weeping audibly over it” (Luke 19:41).
What a picture. And what must the disciples and those following Christ have thought as He “burst into tears” and sobbed? How often this man surprised and amazed them. Power, authority, humility, wisdom, intellect, love and yes, passion were all exhibited by the Son of Man.
And they would soon see His anger.
After composing Himself, Christ went directly to the Temple and drove out those who were selling their wares, making His “house of prayer...a robber’s den,” (Luke 19:45-46). This was indeed anger, but it wasn’t a temporary loss of self-control. The Temple was intended by God to picture us humans, created to be the dwelling place/temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). The defilement Jesus was seeing reminded Him of the defilement in us, which He was about to cleanse at the Cross, just days from then. He was demonstrating what He had come to do: cleanse His temple - US! And Christ was intense about it.
Spend some time this week reflecting on the passion of Christ. Journey through the week with Him. Thank Him for the price He paid. Worship Him not only as God, the Creator, but also as Son of Man, the Redeemer.
And let Him be human.
Pray with me:
Father, thank You for Your incredible love and commitment to us. Thank You for the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world. You are amazing. We are deeply moved by being able to call You Abba, Papa.
And Jesus, thank You for the incarnation - being willing to become one of us. Isaiah called You Immanuel, “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). Daniel called You “son of man” (Daniel 7:13). Thank You for the tears. Thank You for the love. Thank You for the suffering and pain. Thank You for the Cross - thank You for dying.
And thank You for winning, for conquering death and the grave, for overcoming sin and its evil hold on us. Thank You for sharing Abba with us. Thank You for sharing Your throne with us.
Manifest Yourself through us in this era, we pray. May the world see who You are, Yeshua, and Your glory as the church You are building matures into the Ekklesia You envisioned. Continue to mature us into people worthy of bearing Your name. Amen.
We declare that the sufferings of Christ were not in vain, and His blood will never lose its power.
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