Journey with us as we follow "The Way of Jesus" through the cross to his resurrection. Over the next nine days, we will have seven special video posts highlighting what many call "Holy Week" — the last week of Jesus' earthly ministry in Jerusalem. This week appeared to end with Jesus' crucifixion. However, the power after his resurrection changed everything!
In Mark 10:46-52, we meet a man named Bartimaeus who was blind. When he heard Jesus drawing near, he shouted for the Son of David to heal him. Despite interference from Jesus' disciples, the man kept shouting to the Lord until Jesus healed him. Then, Bartimaeus "followed Jesus along the road"(Mark 10:52), or more literally, he "followed Jesus on the way" to Jerusalem, the cross, and the resurrection (Mark 10:52 NLT — footnote*).
Not surprisingly, Jesus' early disciples identified themselves as "followers of the way" (Acts 9:2, 22:4-5, 24:14). They had chosen to follow Jesus in the way of the cross (Luke 9:23-27). During this special week, let's join those early disciples and choose to be followers of Jesus in the way of the cross!
Our goal as followers and disciples of Jesus is to become like Jesus (Luke 6:40). The Spirit is at work to transform us to become like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). Paul emphasized this was his goal in his ministry and that he worked with every ounce of energy that God supplied him to accomplish that goal (Colossians 1:28-29). He invited people to imitate him as he displayed Christ in his life (1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Philippians 3:17, 4:9).
To become like Jesus, we must know who he is and then pursue him with all we are (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). As we focus on Jesus as our Lord, the righteous character, the faithful lovingkindness, and gracious compassion of our Lord should come alive in us (Galatians 5:22-23).
During what is known as "Holy Week," we will follow Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. His adversaries will revile him. His people will reject him and crucify him. However, God will resurrect him (Mark 8:31, 9:30-32, 10:33-34). As we make this journey, we will pause to share several key events that Jesus experienced on his way to his resurrection. We want to encourage you to pause long enough to ask two questions:
- How does Jesus' triumphal entry reveal him more fully to me?
- What does Jesus' triumphal entry call me to do as I seek to become more like my Savior?
Jesus Enters Jerusalem as Israel's Servant King:
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
"Say to Daughter Zion,See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. Many in the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee" (Matthew 21:1-11).
Our Video Message for Today:
A Key Question, a Vital Commitment, and a Wonderful Promise:
Who do I hold Jesus to be in my life?
That question is the most important one any of us will ever answer. We cannot become like Jesus until we know him and are committed to following him! (Get to know Jesus better by downloading this free reading guide and read 1 chapter a day.)
Will I follow Jesus in the way of the cross?
On Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, Bartimaeus, a blind man begging beside the road, heard Jesus coming by him. He wanted Jesus to cure his blindness, but even more, he wanted to see Jesus, God's Son, and the promised Messiah descended from David. He cried out: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"(Mark 10:47) Jesus stopped and healed Bartimaeus. Then, Mark tells us, And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way (Mark 10:52). More than just following Jesus on the road to Jerusalem, Mark wants us to know that Bartimaeus was willing to embrace Jesus in the way of the cross — the destination that lay ahead for Jesus as he journeyed down this road (Mark 8:31, 9:30-32, 10:33-34).
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:34-38 NLT).
Jesus' Wonderful Promise!
While Jesus calls us to follow in the way of the cross, we need to know that following Jesus carries with it many great and precious promises:
[Jesus said,] I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels (Luke 12:8 NLT).
Will I welcome Jesus into my heart as Savior, Lord, and King, and will I follow him as his disciple in the way of the cross?