By Not Known
The four Gospels are dominated by the last week of Jesus’ life.
Assuming Jesus lived to 33, Matthew gives 25% of his chapters to just O.06% of
Jesus’ life (one week). Within Matthew, the Easter theme starts at 1:21, is
especially prominent in 16:21-28 and 20:17-19 and dominates the structure and
purpose of the gospel.
John gives us several glimpses into the constant self-consciousness of Jesus about
Easter in the ‘time‘ and ‘hour‘ passages (2:4; 7:6,8,30; 8:20; 12:23,27; 13:1; 17;1).
And Luke sets the turning point of Jesus’ life in a resolute turning to the
road to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51).
The Easter stories are wrapped around the Cross and the empty tomb. One was
the death of Jesus as the sacrifice for sin and the other was new life for him and
is new life for us.
All this was the ‘end of the road‘ for Jesus. It was his ‘end‘ both in the sense that
it led to his death and ‘end‘ in the sense that the Cross was the goal of his life.
The Cross and empty tomb are a crossroad of opportunity.
We see this dramatically illustrated in Peter and Judas during Easter week. They
had much in common. They were both disciples of Jesus. They both failed him:
Judas through one act of betrayal and Peter by three acts of denial. But at this
point they took separate paths in the crossroads of life. Judas ended his life with
remorseful suicide (Mt 27:1-10). Peter grasped the opportunity of his lifetime and
went on to a life of bold witness that was the reverse of his denials (Jn 21:15-19)
The Cross is also our crossroad. God sent his Son and presented him as the
sacrifice of atonement (Jn 3:16a & Rom 3:25a). But our hearing of God’s
message must be combined with faith as we grasp the opportunity of our
lifetime. (Heb 4:2; Jn 3:16b; Rom 3:25b).
The services today, on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday will help focus our
minds on God’s Cross. But what about our crossroad? This is the time to pause,
consider our position, make a u-turn and take our road to the Cross – the road of
putting our faith in the crucified and risen Jesus.
Which road are you on?