Wednesday may have been the second most important day of the week, (well, third if you count the following Sunday!) The amazing events we have recorded from this last week of Christ’s pre-Crucifixion ministry? None. Zip. Nada.
Our impression is that He returned to Bethany the evening before, as He had been doing since the beginning of the week. He had a really difficult and trying day on Tuesday. He had His plans for Thursday and knew He wouldn’t be getting a lot of rest Thursday night. I think that these things, along with Jesus’ previous pattern of behavior tell us what He did. He sabbathed.
Now, I know it wasn’t the Sabbath yet, but Jesus had practiced the disciplines of sabbath, solitude, prayer and fasting before and/or after great events and trials since the early days of His ministry. I think it is possible, even likely, that Jesus spent the day resting, spending time with His friends and family, and preparing for the last leg of His journey into night and subsequent morning.
Some of you reading this, if you are not hypocritical, should be a little offended.
You see, Jesus had beneficial things He could be doing. He could have taught more, healed more, rebuked more, forgiven more. He could have sat for a portrait or wrote a letter to be used in the New Testament. He could have gone to visit Pilate early or talked to those Greeks that ask Him for an interview. The Man only had a three-year window to begin with and there was so much to do with only a few days remaining. How could it possibly be true that He spent Wednesday doing, by our standards, nothing?
Now listen up all you Martha types, here’s a Mary lesson. Pay attention you workaholics and co-dependents, here is a truth that will set you free. Open your ears all you emergent, service first, works before faith folks. Jesus dropped everything, purposely, with everything on the line. He chose the best over the good, by taking Wednesday off and hangin’ with His friends. I’m sure He prayed, ate some of Martha’s locally famous rhubarb pie, played a game of chess with Lazarus, who had become amazingly hard to beat lately, and listen to Mary giggle as she told Him funny stories about her childhood. I bet he got up early and went fishing with Peter, Andrew and the gang. You know they gave Judas the business because He was in a somber mood and Jesus had to tell Thomas to quit worrying about seventy-two times. It would be just like Him to go for a walk in the hills at dusk, spending moments of His quickly passing temporal life soaking up the eternal life of His Father’s presence. Praying, preparing, resting.
Maybe Jesus never said, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” because He knew it would only be three days.
We are so busy. What do we miss and how ill-prepared are we when we consistently take the good road of our to-do list and place it above the best road of loving relationships and time with our Father God in meditation, celebration, preparation and blessed rest. Look at your life, what would Jesus really do? Maybe it’s time to drop everything, for a season, except the things that are most important. Our God, our family, our friends. Maybe that discipline will restore sanity to your harrowed and hectic life. God bless.