Have you ever thought if Jesus’ disciples ever glanced at Him as He rode the young colt through the streets of Jerusalem and wondered what He was thinking? As the crowds gathered and began to lay coats and branches upon the road before Him, did His disciples quickly look at Him and consider His thoughts? Perhaps they watched him closely as shouts of “Hosanna” echoed across the rooftops and pondered what was going through His mind? I’ve thought a lot about these questions in recent weeks. 

What was Jesus thinking as He began the week leading up to His trial, suffering, crucifixion, and death? Starting in Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12, each of the four Gospels provides an accurate account of what Jesus did and said the week before His death. However, we can only speculate about what He was thinking or feeling as He walked toward the cross, or can we?

I believe we can know with certainty some of the things Jesus was thinking or feeling. How? By reading the very words, Jesus said of himself. Here are three examples.

Jesus knew He would destroy the devil’s work. Jesus said, “Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done” (CEV, John 3:8).

I am convinced that with each step Jesus took toward the cross, He was thinking, “It’s just about time for me to destroy the works of the devil!” 

Jesus knew His pure, sinless sacrifice would give life to those who believed. Jesus said, “And the Son of Man must be lifted up . . . Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned” (CEV, John 3:14-18).

I am convinced that with each step Jesus took toward the cross, He was thinking, “It’s just about time for me to give life to all who believe.” 

Jesus knew He would set the captives free. It was on the Sabbath when Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah (61:1), “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen.'” Jesus closed the book, then handed it back to the man in charge and sat down. Everyone in the meeting place looked straight at Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “What you have just heard me read has come true today” (CEV, Luke 18-21).

I am convinced that with each step Jesus took toward the cross, He was thinking, “It’s just about time for me to set the captives free.”  

Knowing the suffering and humiliation He would endure as He walked toward Jerusalem and ultimately the cross, I love these words written about Jesus, “Not long before it was time for Jesus to be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem” (CEV, Luke 9:51).

What was He thinking? What was He thinking? I am convinced He was thinking about you and me, and that it was just about time to speak His final words of victory:

”It Is Finished!” I believe that’s what Jesus was thinking.

~ Chris Hardy, JMI Director of Programs & Church Partnerships

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