Four Takes on Jesus' Final Week

By Kurt Selles

March 31, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is impacting different people in different ways. Teachers and their students are navigating massive educational changes. Healthcare workers are facing an increased workload. Church leaders are exploring new ways to minister to and serve others. And virtually everyone—both in the immediate and long term—will deal with financial fallout from this pandemic. Years from now, each of us will tell different, yet universal, stories about this consequential time.

The biblical books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us about Jesus’ ministry and his final week before dying and then rising from the dead. Though these books tell the same general story, they each tell it a little differently—often highlighting different details that show us slightly different angles on who Jesus was, what he did for us, and what our response should be. They’re all true and all inspired by the same Holy Spirit of God. And when we take each of them the way they were intended, we grow in understanding the Savior of the world.

What’s more, this Savior isn’t some historical “dead guy.” Jesus died—but then he also rose from the dead. And he is every bit as much alive today as ever. That makes these stories, which are told by Jesus himself through the gospel writers, something like letters from a friend who is saying, “Remember that time when I . . . ?” These stories help us grow to know the living Lord of the world in a wonderfully personal way.

So let’s start by looking at Jesus’ ministry and his final week in the book of Mark—and then peek at Luke, and then John and Matthew. As we do, we’ll get a fuller picture of how Jesus knew anxiety, endured suffering, and remains with us today as we face our own unprecedented fears and struggles.

This month’s writer, Scott DeVries, has served as a church pastor and as a ministry coordinator in the Holland area of Michigan. He currently works at facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages. As you read the Today devotions this month, may you be refreshed, refocused, and renewed in God’s Word!

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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