It’s not just the Last Supper; it’s the last week.
APRIL 11, 2022
It’s not just the Last Supper; it’s the last week. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers because life’s hard for everyone, grace is for all of us. Our host is seminary professor and author, Steve Brown.
Thank you Matthew. And hi, Justin.
Justin Holcomb: Hello Steve.
Listen, this is going to be a fun week. Justin Holcomb and you, you need to know some things about him. You’ve heard him a couple of times on the broadcast and you’re going to hear more of him. Justin. I remember you when your hair was down to your belt and you were on the staff of Youth for Christ.
Justin Holcomb: You have a good memory.
I do. I’m old, but I can remember things, especially things that go back a long ways. Justin, by the way is an amazing young man. He is a professor at a couple of seminaries Reformed Seminary and occasionally Gordon Conwell Seminary. He’s a Canon. That means he goes off, often. No, you’re head of what?
Justin Holcomb: It means I work for the Bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida.
And you have a place at the cathedral downtown.
Justin Holcomb: I do.
And your, what is the Canon of vocational.
Justin Holcomb: Canon for Vocations, which means I oversee the ordination process for our Diocese. And I do that on behalf, for the Bishop who ordains. And so, the Bishop ordains and I get people ready so he can ordain them. And I do all of that. And that’s, that’s fun. We have, there’s 85 churches in the Diocese. So we have, usually have 30 to 40 people in our process.
And so you’re a busy guy.
Justin Holcomb: I get to be the, kind of a minister to those who want to be ministers, which is wonderful.
And Justin got his PhD from Emory. The choice was Emory or Oxford and Emory offered more money. So we all know that you follow the money.
Justin Holcomb: I do.
He’s the author of a thousand books. And editor of a thousand more. His work along with his wife Lindsey in sexual abuse issues is absolutely amazing. And Justin also is a part of our staff at Key Life. He heads up all of our publishing ventures and recruits people and helps us be creative and all that kind of thing, but more important than all of that, justin is my friend. And we’ve been friends for a whole lot of years.
Justin Holcomb: Since 1995.
Justin Holcomb: When I was a young, young, young pup at seminary. So that’s the, that’s the other piece of this, thank you for all those kinds of things, because
And there’s a lot more.
Justin Holcomb: That means a lot because you’re someone I hold in high esteem, especially as my seminary professor, you are my friend, but you’ve always been my seminary professor. And you know what that’s like when you have your seminary professors voices in your head, they help you think about the Bible and Jesus and the gospel. And so, the voices from seminary are some of the most powerful voices in your memory for decades, for the rest of your life. And I’ve got you buried in there along with a few others.
Justin, half of what I taught you, wasn’t true. I’m not,
Justin Holcomb: Which half?
I don’t know? That’s why you got to do some work on your own. Let me tell you what we’ve decided to do. A group of our staff got together and said, what would be really cool is if Justin and Steve just sat down at the table and talked about the events of the last week of Jesus’ incarnation. And, it’s amazing. So, that’s what we’re going to do. Each day during this week officially called Holy Week, we’re going to look at what happened on that particular day, and we’re going to talk about it. And it’s our fond hope that it will be a good time of devotion and inspiration and teaching for you, the listener, as much as for Justin and for me. Alright. It starts with moving into Jerusalem. Why don’t you read one of the texts and there are references to this and all four of the gospels, details and the synoptics. Why don’t you read one of the texts and then we’ll talk about it.
Justin Holcomb: Well, I’m going to pick Matthew, Matthew 21, just cause that’s where I am. And we’re looking at Palm Sunday. So this is the text that many churches will have just celebrated this, yesterday.
That’s right. So here we are, Matthew 21, verses one through eleven.
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mountain of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a Colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord needs them, and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you humble and mounted on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put them on their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” and when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowd said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
You know, it’s a preachers and I’ve said it before. And I repent., I think, that those same people who shouted Hallelujah, shouted, crucify him just a few days later, but it’s probably not the same people. But there is significance to what’s going on here. Talk to us a little bit about the palm trees and what’s happening here.
Justin Holcomb: Well, Jerusalem is the center of Israel’s religious and political, everything life. And so, for Jesus to come in, he’s being treated like a king. He’s intentional. He refers to himself as Lord. That’s no small thing. I mean, Lord can mean like nice, like sir, or someone who’s a master or the Lord. And for him to say, the Lord has sent you early on in the passage, he’s telling us, he’s finally,
That’s a big deal.
Justin Holcomb: Jesus is finally telling us who he is. It’s been, this is called the Messianic Secret, throughout most of his ministry, he’s telling people, oh, you think I’m the Messiah? You’re right, but don’t tell anyone. Like, because he needs to unveil it when the timing is right. Now, he goes around referring to himself as the Son of Man. We’ll get to that later on, later on this week, but for him to do this, he’s fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy from Zechariah 9 and also quoting Isaiah 62, which is about the Messiah. So this is Jesus’s way of saying I’m the Messiah. I am a king. And they refer to him as a prophet. And so in the Old Testament, there’s prophet, priest and king, and he’s coming out strong and he’s indicating who he is, that he is the Son of David. And he’s coming in, like he won a victory. And so, the whole thing with, the cloaks symbolize submission to authority. And that’s important, that they’re submitting to him as a king. So when people are putting their cloaks down, that’s them making a declaration of how they view Jesus. And branches or palms symbolize Jewish nationalism in victory. So, this is a victory March. This is a king marching into the city. And so it’s regal and that’s part of what it means to be the Messiah. So what’s swirling, is there’s a lot of expectations about the Messiah. What is Messiah like, is he going to be a political leader? Is he going to be a warrior? Was he going to be a sage? What kind of leader is he? And that’s the question that this brings.
And they got it wrong. I mean, in terms of their expectations, you think we sometimes do too?
Justin Holcomb: Absolutely.
I think we want to make Jesus into a Republican or a Democrat. We want him to clean up the cesspool that’s in Washington. We want him to bring in our guys and to kick out their guys. We’re doing the same thing they were doing when he was coming into Jerusalem, aren’t we?
Justin Holcomb: We treat Jesus like a wax nose and we shape him in our image. That’s the default. Now, now the goal is to not do that as much, and that’s why we have, thanks be to God, we have Scripture, we have community, we have faithful Bible preaching that helps point us to the real Messiah. But the danger is, our hearts default to creating gods that we like and messiahs that fit our agendas. That’s the default mode of our hearts and may the Holy Spirit change that, so we actually worship Jesus Christ, in Spirit and in truth for who he is really and what he really did as the Messiah.
You know, there’s a good side of Jesus is like us. And, as long as you don’t take it to where we’re talking about. So there’s a good devotional thought that we can leave with the people who are listening, is that this Holy Week, when you pray, say, don’t let me make you in my own image. Let me submit to you and who you really are and what you really have for me. And forgive me when I bring it to do list that’s political before you, when that’s not even the point.
Justin Holcomb: But how wonderful that he wants to hear that prayer and that he likes to answer that prayer. And that’s the prayer of humility. I mean, that’s the posture we should have with the Lord and King who loves us. I mean, out of his great power as a King, there’s also tenderness here, as Luke says, he cried over the city. So, he’s a King, but he’s a king who wants to hear that prayer. And he hears that prayer and says, I have as much time as you need to shape you into the image that I’ve created you to be. And I’m going to get you there. What I started with you, we’re going to see through to completion.
That’s so good. And you can go back and think about last Sunday or yesterday or last Sunday and remember this a year from now and pray that prayer. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve and Justin, that was Steve Brown and our good friend, Justin Holcomb talking through the events of the last week of Jesus’ life before the crucifixion. And if you found this as refreshing as I did, great news. Steve and Justin will continue this conversation through the end of the week, all the way through Good Friday. Don’t miss it. So, clearly we’re in a season of looking forward to Easter, preparing our hearts. And if you’re doing that, there’s a sermon Steve gave a while back that might help, it’s called Why Jesus Had to Die. And we would love to mail it to you on a CD for free today. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an e-mail to [email protected] to ask for that CD. By mail, send your request to
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