Last Stop Before Jerusalem

It is said that Jesus made his fatal journey to Jerusalem in the spring, 33 a.d. Due to historical errors in ancient date keeping, the exact time is unknown, although the world has settled on complicated formulas to settle an arbitrary date for what has come to be known as Easter. The actual Biblical accounts mention “winter” (John 10:23), and that people were warming themselves over fires at the Jewish trial of Jesus (John 18:18). A quick Internet search showed 20 C. weather in the city today (68 F); hardly a time for bonfires. Therefore we don’t really know the actual dates for the events surrounding the trials, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

His last stop before the great city was Bethany, to the home of his friend Simon the Leper. There, once again, Martha and Mary prepared a meal for Him with the newly-risen Lazarus present. Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume (John 12:1-11), promoting complaints from Judas about the waste of money. The man stormed off to make his deal with the chief priests to betray the Lord (Mk.14:10). It seems this short stopover in Bethany unknowingly set things in motion for the upcoming tragedy.

Hours later Jesus was mobbed by gawkers as He entered Jerusalem. How quickly things would change from adoration to hate. I believe Jesus was more impressed with the heart of Mary than with those who turned his Jerusalem arrival into a circus.

Jesus soon went to his death to save us, not to give the world another religious holiday to celebrate, then set aside after it’s done. Martha realized this. (Mark 14:8-9) Do you?

– Tim Johnson