Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Bucket List

Everyone has things that they want to do before they die. Some want to make a lot of money. Some want to be married. Some want to have children, or to see their children marry, or to play with their grandchildren. Some people have a list of places that they would like to see or a list of activities that they would like to do. Everyone has these dreams. It gives us things to look forward to in life.

This is Holy Week. This is the week that led to the death of Jesus Christ. Did Jesus have a bucket list? Did it look typical?

Christians believe that Jesus knew his death was imminent. He had predicted his death for some time, and he knew that he was going into Jerusalem to meet that fate. So how did he live, knowing that he only had a week left on earth?

He spent his time teaching people. He had compassion on the crowds. One event that he looked most forward to in his final week was celebrating the Passover with his friends. He loved them so much that, after supper, he got a basin of water and washed the feet of his friends. During his last night of freedom, Jesus was a servant.

The Bible teaches that Jesus was in anguish in his final days. His soul was sorrowful to the point of death. He knew one of his friends would betray him. He knew he would soon bare the wrath of God. And yet, his concern is again for others, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me...I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:1, 3). Jesus, though hurting himself, concerns himself with the pain of his friends. He seeks to alleviate their pain and sorrow while he bears his own. In his need, he asks them to pray with him. They sleep, and yet his concern is still for them.

If I were told that I had one week to live, I would like to spend that week as Jesus did. Not in the selfish pursuit of personal gratification, but in the pursuit of serving my friends. I wish that I would spend it telling them it would be alright, or in the words of Jesus, "A little while, and you will see me no longer, and again a little while, and you will see me" (John 16:17). I would spend time with my family and with my friends. I would love nothing more than a simple meal with my most beloved, and I would try to serve them to my last breath. At least, I hope I would do this.

I know that I would want to sit with my son and daughter especially, and tell them that I am going to a place that they cannot go to now. But soon, because of Jesus, they will be able to join me there. All this because Jesus' bucket list was not typical. It was selfless and not selfish. He gave himself to prepare a better place for us, and he will come back again so that we may all be together with him forever.

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