It’s known throughout Christendom as Holy Week, with many branches of the church holding daily services to mark the final days of our Redeemer’s life on earth. To Jesus, though, it is Finals Week. The final visit to the temple has been made with chaos reigning and religious rulers incensed. The final time he will see his mother will be very soon. The final visit to see friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha must be now. The final Passover meal with his closest friends must be planned. The final Messianic Prophecies are nearing their fulfilment, with the direst of them just days away. The finalities of this week, with the final symbolic Passover being forever replaced by the living Passover with the Final Lamb, the Final Sacrifice, (although unknown, misunderstood, and unseen), are coalescing with sun-darkening, earth-shaking, grave-emptying, veil-rending, Satan-screaming, law-fulfilling, grace-imparting, precision.
Hell is on a collision course with Heaven. It’s easy to imagine that the demonic hordes could sense approaching calamity just as surely as hens can sense the soon arrival of a thunderstorm and begin gathering their chicks under their wings to protect them. Maybe there were rumblings of a brewing earthquake. The scheming and seduction of one of the close followers of their foe would have filled them with glee. It may be that these dark events excited them as they pointed to their master’s evil success, a sinister, long-awaited celebration, a cosmic win for darkness. In their spiritual blindness and depravity, they couldn’t possibly have discerned the final outcome of this finals week.
For Jesus, his mounting dread, his soul-squeezing obligation to bid so many farewells, his apprehension of the crushing weight of the world’s sin to be heaped upon him, were more than matched with the ever-increasing, glowing smile of the Father. He had kept the faith, would soon complete the mission, was still watching for distractions (like the fear of pain,) was devotedly keeping in prayer touch, was bracing himself to not falter in demonstrating grace in the next ninety-six hours, was assured that he would stay visible, and was asking for more grace to be the oozer of forgiveness regardless the heinous nature of his approaching circumstances. God’s wonderful peace that surpasses human understanding made answers available to him.
The reveling of Satan and his angels was simultaneously counterbalanced by the reveling of all of Heaven. So much seemed to be the perfectly devious, final trap for Jesus on one hand, while it was guaranteed to be the perfect, ultimate death knell to Satan and his powers on the other. The titanic clash and victory of Jesus’ Finals Week would never fade, never be forgotten, never be forfeited! Like all Finals Weeks, the pressure would escalate mercilessly and all students would hold their breath until the scores/the notes/the grades/the results, were announced. It’s then the pain and sleep deprivation are acknowledged as all worth it. The future is bright. The pain is gone. Hope soars. Life is made new again! PD