For Part 3 go HERE
We’ve reached the middle of the week and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to read this in my study notes:
Wednesday: The Bible does not say what Jesus did on this day; he probably remained in Bethany with his disciples.
We’re in the middle of possibly the most important week in history and Jesus is having a day off. Er… Excuse me? Actually, if you think about it, he’s going to be a bit tied up for the rest of the week, so this makes perfect sense. He’s resting while he can, this is his Sabbath.
The Bible is very clear when it comes to rest. Right back in Genesis, God not only created the world, but he created a rest day too, blessed it and made it holy (Genesis 2:1-3). It’s even right there as one of the Ten Commandments:
“Remember to observe the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20:12
Jesus had also taught about the Sabbath, saying that it was made to benefit people (Mark 2: 27), so there is absolutely nothing wrong in taking time to rest; in fact, it’s just as fundamental as prayer and worship. God designed you and he knows that you won’t be at your best if you’re constantly depriving yourself of sleep and rest.
This doesn’t sit well with modern life, it wants the choice to shop and entertain itself 24 hours a day. Being made to take a day off is inconvenient. ‘We want to shop on a Sunday’ the UK declared in 1992 and I was working in a Safeway supermarket on that first day of Sunday trading. All well and good we think. But nearly twenty years on, with the days of the week merging into one another, more and more pressure on families and employers seeing less and less distinction between the working week and the weekend; we find that our rest time has evaporated in our ‘choice’. Suddenly we’re all running around like headless chickens, working, entertaining and shopping ourselves into a bottle of sedatives, just so we can calm down.
Is it really so very good that we have all this choice and no choice to rest? If it’s built into the natural order of things and has its own Commandment, then surely we should acknowledge that one day of rest is just as much of a right as the right to shop and watch a film in a cinema at 2am? I’m not overly concerned if your own personal ‘sabbath’ is a Saturday, a Sunday or a weekday; just that you get one. You’re designed to need a break, so take it.
This break in proceedings gives a natural punctuation mark in the week. It allows us, and Jesus to draw breath. We’re going to need it too, because from hereon in it all gets very serious, very painful, very bloody and very emotional.
The final pieces of the plan are falling in to place on both sides. The Chief Priests have Jesus in their sights and God Almighty has us in his; as the actions of a relatively small group of people unwittingly bring about the most astonishing rescue plan ever devised.
We might not know what Jesus and the disciples did during the day on Wednesday, but reading ahead and looking at what happened on Thursday, something tells me that the disciples didn’t sleep too well on Wednesday night…