As Christians around the world observe Holy Week and prepare for Good Friday and Easter, Priscilla Shirer wants to remind us what Jesus went through in His last week before being crucified. In this clip from the Discerning the Voice of God Bible study, Priscilla walks us through the moments of Jesus’ last week and reminds us of the cost that it took for Christ to die for our sins.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
I want you to think about all that He went through in that last week of His life for you. It was a week where everything changed in the history of the world and in the trajectory of all of our lives.
It started with Palm Sunday. He rode into Jerusalem for you. He knew that when He got there the same people that were cheering for Him would be the same people—just days later—demanding that He be put to death. But He did it for you.
He came into Jerusalem and there were people that were so excited because this guy who was the Messiah they finally expected. They didn’t know whether or not He could redeem them from their sins. They didn’t know about all that stuff. But what they did think was that He was coming to restore political glory back to them. They had been so ravaged by the Romans that they were expecting this was the guy that was gonna restore Israel to her former glory.
So they laid down their palm branches and they shouted, “Hosanna! King of the Jews!” They were so excited because, I mean, they’d been conquered by everybody at that point—by the Assyrians, and by the Babylonians, and the Persians, and the Greeks, and the Romans. They were zero for five and their season was not improving at all.
So they were excited that somebody had finally come. They were so excited that Jesus was going to give them political victory. They didn’t realize that that’s not why Jesus came. He didn’t come to Jerusalem to kick out the Romans. He came to kick out sin. He came to make sure that none of us had to pay our own wages for our sin. Aren’t you glad about it?
That’s not what they expected. It’s not even what they wanted. Can I just take a rabbit trail to tell you that to me, Palm Sunday represents all the times that we get real excited because of all the things we expect that Jesus has come to do for us. Palm Sunday represents when we’re celebrating God we’re so excited because we have predetermined expectations of what He desires to do in our life. Palm Sunday is when we celebrate because we think He has come to bring miracles with no requirements, no dying, no suffering, but this Jesus came to lay down His life.
On the very next night He had dinner, a final dinner, with the disciples. And it’s when He took those simple elements, the bread and the wine, and He said, “This is My flesh that will be broken for you. This is My blood poured out for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” Forever symbols and reminders of the fact that He was about to be crushed for you and for me.
This was also the same night that Judas would betray Him. In fact, the entire night becomes among the most sordid nights in all of human history because this was the same night that the disciples would fall asleep while they were supposed to be praying with Jesus. This was the same night that the chief priest would put Jesus on trial in secret at night. This was the same night that the priests became afraid and intimidated by the whole situation so they passed Him off to Pilate. And Pilate would pass Him off to Herod. And Herod would pass Him back to Pilate. And Pilate would finally cave like a house of cards to the angry crowd who just a few days before were celebrating Him.
All in all Jesus endured six different trials. He survived brutal whippings and beatings and mocking. He was dressed in purple, a robe just to mock Him. And there was a crown of thorns that was not lightly placed upon His head. It was driven into His skull for you and for me.
The people who had just celebrated Him now they were demanding His death. He knew that going in, but He did it for you and He did it for me.
When they had an opportunity to set Him free because it was the ritual, the tradition that of the people who had been sentenced to die, one of them could be released by the people’s choice. And so when they had an option to set this One who had just loved them, who just came to pay the price for them, when they had the option to set someone free they didn’t choose Jesus. They chose Barabbas, a common criminal over Him, over the One who had come to save their souls. There was no bleaker moment in all of human history.
They hung Him high. They stretched Him wide. He hung His head, and for me and for you, He died. That’s love.