Tracing Holy Week: Tuesday Morning, and Evening

Here are the Bible passages for this moment in history: Mark 11.20-25; Matthew 21.20-22; and then Matthew 21.23-22.45; Mark 11.27-12.44; Luke 20.1-21.4; and then Matthew 23.1-36; and then Matthew 24.1-2; Mark 13.1-2; Luke 21.5-6; and finally Luke 21.7-36; Matthew 24.3-25.46; Mark 13.3-37. You can read all of the Holy Week portions of the Bible in this document, Tracing Holy Week Through Scripture.

Every city has a skyline. Not every city has an Eiffel Tower. Or a Burj Khalifa. Or a Reunion Tower. But every city has its own skyline. And if the city skyline lacks drama and interest during the day, wait until the evening. The night improves every skyline. The lack of a dramatic dome or a soaring tower is unimportant when every building takes on a light-defined shape. As the sun sets and the day winds down and lights of the city begin to make the dotted appearances that improve every skyline.

Tuesday evening Jesus sits with his disciples on a hillside outside the city of Jerusalem, across the bubbling waters of the Kidron creek, to watch the sun set behind the ancient skyline. As the bright light of the day turns to the diffuse glow that outlines the buildings belonging to the city on a mount, the oil lamps and courtyard fires make the city impressive. 

And the disciples are impressed. But Jesus is not. “Do you see these buildings,” Jesus asks? They will come down, He says. They will become rubble under trampling feet. They will not last. And the people, nor will they last. And the disciples, they will not last either. The illuminated skyline should not be allowed to become an occasion for pride and boasting, in daytime nor when the sun is darkened. If not this, what will last? If not us, who will last?

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