One Week to Live
Lessons from the Final week of Jesus's life
Living a Life Connected with Christ
If you only had one week to live, what would you do? What if you knew you could postpone your death by altering your schedule?
All Jesus had to do was lay low, and the whole thing would likely have blown over. It’s not like the Jewish leaders were looking for someone to kill that week; they would have been happy to keep things quiet and avoid any kind of controversy. And the Romans were reasonable: Stay in your place, pay your taxes, don’t cause trouble, and no trouble will come after you.
But Jesus knew this was the thing He had come to do. Yes, the teaching was important. Yes, the miracles. Yes, the lifestyle. But none of it would make a difference without His sacrificial death.
The apostle Paul said that without the resurrection, we’re the biggest fools of all time—celebrating a man who was executed! And he was right (see 1 Corinthians 15:14-19). But there’s no resurrection without the crucifixion. They’re inseparable.
And so it was that Jesus, knowing full well that this week would end with Him dead and buried, having suffered the most humiliating and tortuous death imaginable, marched straight toward it, embracing His role in human history. Make no mistake about it: He chose this. No one did this to Him. He went willingly.
And here’s the crazy kicker (it won’t come as a surprise to any who have been following along): He didn’t choose this path in spite of the fact that He was God. He chose this path precisely because He was (and is) God. This is exactly the kind of thing you’d expect Him to do.
Granted, no other god in any other religious system in human history would ever choose to die on behalf of the people who have spurned and rejected His loving advances for millennia. But this isn’t any other god in any other religious system. This is our God, the God who humbled the Egyptians and parted the Red Sea, the God who drove the Canaanites from the Promised Land, the God who spared Isaac and redeemed Gomer, the God who loves relentlessly and refuses to give up on His dream of one day forming a community of people who are rightly related to Him and rightly relating to each other, a group of people whose very presence is a blessing to the whole, wide world.
He knew how the week would end. He knew how to avoid it. But He walked straight into the fiery furnace of hell for us. That’s the kind of God He is.
Kenneth Boa and John Turner, The 52 Greatest Stories of the Bible: A Weekly Devotional (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008).