If Holy Week’s a bit new to you, not to worry. Believe it or not, there was actually a time when pretty much everyone in Western Civilization knew what it was, and in some way, shape or form, found themselves a part of, or affected by, it.
Holy Week follows the last 7 days that Jesus walked on the earth. Where He went. What He did. You get the idea. We’ll follow that very week. Each day. Right here.
DAY 1 FRIDAY: For Jesus and His disciples it was time to make the trek toward Jerusalem to celebrate Passover Feast week. Remember: Jesus was Jewish. And, on this particular night (Fri.), he would celebrate one last Sabbath (sundown Friday through sunset Saturday for the Jews).
Trivia: Jewish law only allows folks to do a few things on the Sabbath. One of the rules is how far a person can walk! According to the Mitzvah, you can’t walk a straight line more than .598 miles (3161.74 ft.) in any direction outside your city limits. Even today, Orthodox Jews don’t drive on Sabbath. They walk to service!
At this point, Jesus had been spending His time about 20 miles outside Jerusalem (in Ephraim) and was now working His way toward Jericho (15 miles out). He needed to get to where He was going by sunset–before Sabbath began. His destination for this night? Bethany.
With the average adult walking pace at about 3-4 mph, that day’s journey from Jericho to Bethany (about 12 miles) would realistically take about 5-6 hours. So basically, Jesus spent most of Friday likely traveling not only to be with friends but to keep his appointment with destiny.
Bethany was only about 2 miles outside of Jerusalem and was the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Yes, the very Lazarus He had just raised from the Dead earlier that same week (see John 11). Talk about a foreshadowing! The town was also dangerously close to Jerusalem and those that wanted him dead. But Jesus knew what he was doing.
Martha had a big dinner in His honor that Sabbath. Mary interrupted the evening, broke a bottle of precious ointment, showered Jesus with tears of affection and anointed His feet with her hair. This act, too, foreshadowed his coming burial. Back then you only anointed the feet of a corpse! You anointed the head of a live person. Pretty amazing stuff.
There’s lots more to come. C U tomorrow.