Then Jesus, six days before the Passover came to Bethany … Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden … there laid they Jesus … John 12:1; 19:41, 42 KJV
Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany … Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden … they laid Jesus there … John 12:1; 19:41-42 NASB
Even the casual reader of the four Gospel records must be surprised to notice how much coverage is given to the events at the close of the life of the Lord Jesus. Matthew, Mark, and Luke devote perhaps 25% or more of their chapters to the final week of the Lord Jesus and to His death. John, including the upper room ministry, devotes almost 50% of His record to the last week. If we take the life-span of the Lord Jesus Christ to be 36 years, that amounts to 1,872 weeks of life. And yet the Spirit of God has drawn attention to one week in particular.
Several reasons readily suggest themselves to us. This was the most important week in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is, also, the most eventful and important week in all of history. Thus, our attention is being riveted on the events of this singularly important week.
As well, while the major accomplishments of men are carried out prior to their deaths, His greatest work was His death and resurrection. This does not minimize His accomplishments during His life; it rather magnifies the results of His death.
If we were to chronicle the events of the week, each day was marked by momentous events. The week began with His anointing in Bethany; it was followed by His appearance in Jerusalem to fulfill Zechariah 9:9; the day following, He adjusted the commercialism in the Temple. That was followed by a day of answers to the critics (Mark 12:13). Then He was apprehended and arraigned by the authorities. And on Friday, that fateful historic day, atonement was made.
Each day is detailed by the writers of the Gospel, each stressing differing details. Yet amidst the details of the week, there is an amazing economy of words of the details of His crucifixion. The facts are presented and the story is told with little emotional content. There are no graphic details of the brutality of crucifixion as though to arouse our sympathy. There is little, if anything, of the intensity of the suffering experienced by the victim.
If we consider the week from another vantage point, we can trace the encouragements to faith. In that last week there was the fragrance which Mary’s alabaster box provided. There was the devotion of a widow as she gave her two mites, supplying, in heart devotion, what an entire nation failed to give God. That last week was highlighted by the willing surrender of a colt, of the availability of an upper room during a busy season in Jerusalem, the confession of a thief at the darkest moment telling of a coming kingdom, and the gift of a stately sepulcher – all provided for the joy of His heart by a faithful Father.
All was leading up to the fateful Friday when He gave Himself to a cross-death. The burial followed that evening and the week was completed by the resurrection of the third day.
Look at the contrast between men and women in the final week of the Lord’s life beginning with the anointing by Mary. Failure marked the one and faithfulness the other.
John’s Gospel begins with a week and concludes with a week. How many days in the life of the Lord Jesus does John describe? Would that influence your thinking about his comment in John 21:25?