Christians worldwide are celebrating each day between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday. My Spirit has been stirred and challenged by the theme of Holy Week Gifts.
Rewind the tape to A.D. 30 in the city of Jerusalem where most residents would probably not have realized it would be Jesus’s last week on earth.
A Highly Compressed Seven Days.
Day 1 – Palm Sunday began with Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the first day of the Hebrew week. To fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, the crowd shouted “Hosanna to the son of David” in accordance with Psalm 118:25-26, as they laid their clothing and palm branches on the road. (Matthew 21:1-9)
Their holy week gifts would have been their items of clothing, palm branches, and their praise and adoration for Jesus.
Jesus went to the temple only to discover the traders and money changers who made an egregious profit from the sale of their wares. As He overturned their tables, Jesus chastised them accordingly, “And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:13)
Day 2 – During the time that Jesus returned to the city the next morning, He cursed the fig tree for bearing no fruit. Jesus’s words regarding faith still ring true today, “So Jesus answered and said to them (His disciples), ‘Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.’” (Matthew 21:21-22)
Day 3 – “Tension Tuesday” began with Jesus being confronted in the temple by the chief priests and elders regarding His authority.
Standing on the Mount of Olives, Jesus taught on the Parable of the Two Sons and The Wicked Vinedressers. (Matthew 23:1-24; 31 and 36-44) He issued warnings about the Pharisees, futuristic predictions regarding the destruction of the temple, and His second return.
One of the most significant gifts ever recorded as being bestowed upon Jesus, and appropriately during holy week, took place during His stay in Bethany.
“And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.’
“But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.’” (Matthew 26:6-13)
Day 4 – The Bible instructs us that there’s nothing hidden that will not be revealed sometime in the future. (Luke 8:17) The deadly plot against Jesus was hatched on this day when Judas, the betrayer, went to the chief priests and cut a deal with them. (Matthew 26:14-16)
Day 5 – On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples; ate His last supper with them and instituted our present-day practice of communion; predicted the Apostle Peter’s denial of Him; offered His agonizing prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane; was arrested and faced a trial before the Sanhedrin (the equivalent of the Jewish Supreme Court in those days). (Matthew 26:17-68)
In September of 2020, one of my blog posts addressed the subject of communion. How blessed we are to be able to continue this all-important spiritual practice until Jesus returns.
The Four Communions
Day 6 – This was the most horrible day in all of recorded human history, but the most necessary one. Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha, “The Place of the Skull,” to be crucified along with two other prisoners. His body was laid to rest in Joseph’s tomb where it lay throughout the Sabbath. (Matthew 27:1-66)
Day 7 – Jesus is risen!
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
“But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’
“So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.” (Matthew 28:1-18)
A Heart-Wrenching Week.
Suffice it to say, just reading about the last week of Jesus’s earthly life stirs up profound emotion within our hearts and spirits.
God’s perfect plan for the redemption of mankind was fulfilled in the birth and death of His beloved one and only Son, Jesus Christ, Who gave His life as the ultimate gift, so believers could spend eternity with Him.
Prophetic Insights For Daily Living.
#1. As you read this week’s blog post and the accompanying scriptures, how are your heart and spirit stirred, challenged, and renewed?
#2. Jesus gave the most important gift of all time when He willingly and obediently died on the cross for the sins of all humanity.
#3. What are some holy week gifts you feel led to offer to Jesus? Sometimes, these are not tangible gifts such as monetary offerings or helping mankind in whatever manner He instructs.
Perhaps our resurrected Lord Jesus is asking you for your gift of obedience, faith, love, kindness, or acceptance of Him as your personal Lord and Savior, so your name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life.
#4. I would like to encourage you to not allow the opinions of others to stir up discouragement in your life as to the offering of your holy week gifts. Revisiting the Biblical account of when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil which she poured on Jesus’s head while he sat at the table. (Matthew 26:6-9)
Even Jesus’s very own disciples became indignant concerning this woman’s gift.
Jesus will be well pleased with whatever valuable gift we “pour out” to one another.
If you look carefully at the image accompanying this week’s blog post, you can see the reflection of the “synthetic spikenard” from the green bottle onto the white cloth.
Here’s a link with some additional information regarding spikenard:
When we pour ourselves out to others, there’s a direct reflection of who we are in Jesus our Lord.
#5. Holy Week Gifts are intended to be very costly. Take some time to meditate upon Jesus’s gift of His life. After spending some serious, concentrated time in prayer, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us what our gift(s) should be. For instance, it may be an even greater degree or measure of obedience than what we are already exercising. No price tag can be placed upon spiritual treasures.
Jesus, thank You that your precious blood has cleansed us, delivered us, set us free, and saved us. (Matthew 26:28, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:20, Hebrews 9:14, and 1John 1:7).
May we be a blessing as we share the good news of the power of Your blood to others who need what we have received! In Your mighty name, we pray, Amen.
Sheila Eismann, Prophetic Seer, Blogger, Author & Teacher, publishes her weekly blog posts endeavoring to encourage others through God’s word. Her writings include teaching and instructions on how to apply prophetic insights for daily living.
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Photo via DSP.