All of time is divided into two distinct sections: 1) before Jesus came and offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins; and 2) after His crucifixion and resurrection. This division was not an afterthought. It’s not as if God said, “I’ve made this wonderful creation and, now that man messed it up, I need to think of something else.” As mysterious as it may seem, this sequence of events began at creation and continues to this very day for you and me.
Even knowing that man’s rejection of God was destined and a salvation plan was already in place, I was still surprised to read one particular passage from Mark’s account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem for His betrayal, torture, death, and resurrection. Take a look at Mark 14: 12-15.
12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
I highlighted the phrase that demanded my attention. I see two layers to its meaning. First, Jesus knew what was coming (the true Passover with Him serving as the sacrificial lamb) and continued in His perfect obedience to the Father. The millennia since creation had pointed directly to this moment in time. The event was “furnished and ready.” The actors in this grand play had already rehearsed their roles (the betraying Judas, the accusing Pharisees, the frightened apostles). The stage was set (Pilate in his judgement seat, the cross on Golgotha, the soon-to-be-filled/soon-to-be-empty tomb). Jesus was prepared for the final act of His ministry on the earthly stage.
Second, with this event our salvation was also “furnished and ready”. All we need to do is enter into God’s love through the acceptance of Jesus’ payment for our sins. Repent today. Prepare and submit your heart. Invite Jesus into your life as your personal Lord and Savior. Praise God!