Near the time of Passover Jesus arrived in Jerusalem for the last time. It was just a week before his crucifixion. About one-third of the narrative in the four gospels involve the last week of Jesus’ life. During that week Jesus specially prepared his disciples for his death. Many lessons from that week help us in our own walk of following the Master.
We begin this issue with “Preparing for the Memorial,” considering the institution of the Memorial during the last night of Jesus’ life. The special significance of the bread and the cup is the very heart of our preparation.
“Putting Away” considers memorial symbols, passover types, and specially the cleansing of leaven from our hearts.
The Christian life has great blessings but also many trials to refine our character. “Trials, Bested or Wasted” gives practical advice on maximizing lessons from trials. By this means we may become polished gems that God seeks for the bride of His son.
During the final week of Jesus’ life, he spent a significant amount of time with those closest to him — his disciples, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. During that week Jesus performed perhaps his greatest miracle, raising Lazarus from the dead. “The Alabaster Vial” examines the intimacy of that week and the special significance it has for us.
“Advantages in Christ” explores the multiple blessings we receive when we choose to follow Jesus. One of the greatest benefits is the knowledge that Jehovah God is now within our reach and His presence takes us above the petty cares of this age.
A popular depiction of the peaceable Kingdom shows a lion and a lamb lying together as pictured in Isaiah’s prophecy. The book of Revelation also contains a lion and a lamb as part of a completed picture of salvation. “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah” examines the fulfillment of this prophecy in Jesus.
“The Ministry of Comfort” examines our Christian role helping others in the way of sacrifice. We are ambassadors for Christ, encouraging and supporting our fellow Christians.
May this Memorial season be a blessing to all our readers.