7725 - Life With Purpose
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As we come to the end of Luke, chapter twenty-one, we grow a step closer to the end of the life of Jesus.
Luke 21:37-38 tells us:
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
Jesus entered Jerusalem on the previous Friday, six days before the Passover (Jn. 12:1). We have no record of any activity on the Sabbath, but Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were occupied as Jesus shared with people.
As Luke tells us in this passage, each day Jesus was in the temple area teaching, healing and interacting with people. All the people came early in the morning to listen to his teaching. The temple courtyard was the place where many of the visitors to Jerusalem would have assembled during these pre-Passover days.
At night Jesus and his disciples hiked across the Kidron Valley to overnight on the Mount of Olives.
Matthew tells us that the blind and the lame came to the temple to find Jesus. He reached out to these needy people and healed them.
As he was teaching and healing during these days, several groups who represented temple authority openly challenged Jesus. The Pharisees were in the forefront of opposition because by this time they were very angry with Jesus and had plotted for months how to put Jesus to death. Their fear that the crowds might riot if they arrested Jesus had kept them at bay thus far.
The Herodians, a party of the Jews, were thought to have formed during the reign of Herod the Great. Some say they sought to influence the political scene by paying homage to a sovereign who might be able to bridge the friendship gap between the Jews and Rome. As demonstrated during this last week they coalesced with the Pharisees in their opposition to Jesus.
Then there was the party of the Sadducees, which we hear little about in the gospels, but who also stood opposed to Jesus. This group did not believe in any after-life, nor spirit beings.
The political challenges by these parties occurred even while he was ministering to the people there in the temple.
Close to one-third of the writings in the gospels are devoted to this last week in the life of Jesus, plus those few incidents between the resurrection and his ascension.
So Jesus was in the temple area on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. He knew his life would soon end; yet he shirked not. He desired to leave his absolute truths in the minds and hearts of the people.
Jesus knew the events, which would soon occur in the future. Yes, his death was eminent, but his resurrection would follow thereafter. This powerful and unique event would declare with authority that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, and would place the stamp of authenticity upon all he had said and done during his life on earth.
But on Pentecost, some seven weeks later, the mighty power of the Holy Spirit would assume a new and enduring role. He would come to permanently live and dwell in the inner being of each person who had placed and who would place their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
This was the very purpose of the life of Jesus. He was to serve as the atoning sacrifice, which was required to wash away, cover and cleans from sin. This would reconcile sinful humanity with Holy God. The light of truth about Jesus would blast away the darkness that descended upon mankind when Adam sinned.
Men and women, boys and girls who placed their faith in Jesus could now enter heaven without any obstacle. Those Old Testament people of faith, who were in the bosom of Abraham awaiting the atoning sacrifice to be offered, were now cleansed by the blood of Jesus and could enter heaven because Jesus was the necessary sacrifice.
Truly Jesus entered life with a purpose, and by his faith and yieldedness to the Father he accomplished his purpose without sin or blemish. We all should be thanking him incessantly.