Reflecting on the journey to Golgotha

By Gary Glanville

As Jesus approached His final week as a mortal man while being the Son of God on earth, I wonder what went through His mind? Imagine knowing when you’re going to die and how you’re going to die.

As I get older, I look back a lot. My wife reminds me the ’50s and ’60s are never returning. But they were wonderful years, to me, with good music and great cars, and I often find myself back there in thought. I have a lot of joyful memories. And I have some regrets.

I wonder what Jesus thought about.

Did he recall the disciples’ fear on the boat in the stormy seas? And how He just spoke, and in the midst of violent, massive waves, atoms and molecules came to a stop, and the sea was calm and still like glass.

Did he shake his head as he reflected on Peter and John’s reaction at Lazarus’ funeral when He said to roll the stone away? Did He recall the look on their faces when “he that was dead, walked again?”

One thing about our Lord’s thoughts of His past is that He was without sin — no shame, no guilt.

There was only the joy of obedience, and just looking forward to the Sunday when he would arise and look into the eyes of his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, Thomas, and the others, and assure them that all was well — death defeated and assurance of forgiveness and eternal life.

And what about our Lord’s future? What was He thinking about those last days? Was He looking forward to giving Revelation to John and revealing our glorious future? Was He envisioning His entrance back into heaven as recorded in Psalm 24 in type and prophecy? Was he anticipating greeting us one day at the everlasting gates? Was He foreseeing the joyous wedding feast with his bride? Was He looking forward to us all being together in eternity?

Now because of what He did, I look forward to my future. And if you are a Christian, you can anticipate your future too.

My first choice is to go to heaven when Jesus returns. My second choice (the most popular way to die) is going in my sleep! But the truth is, we are not told when or how we will leave this world. But we know where we are going because of Jesus on that resurrection morning.

As we wait for that day, we can read God’s instruction manual (the Bible) like a tour guide for a cruise ship, which tells us about the experiences that lie ahead. That guide will help us navigate as we strive forward in anticipation of walking in the new kingdom on golden streets.

Gary Glanville is a retired pastor and pastor emeritus of Northwest Baptist Church.

Take time for your reflections as we move towards this Resurrection Sunday. 

  1. Read Matthew 26:36-46. Have you ever considered Jesus’ reflections on His way to the cross? Knowing He is fully God and fully man, take a moment to consider the pain of betrayal and the dread of  physical pain while contemplating the glorious fulfilling of His part in God’s redemptive plan of salvation. 
  2. Read John 11. Imagine the disciples’ faces. Contemplate your response. Would you have opposed the rolling away of the stone? Would you have run away? When Lazarus came out of the grave, would you have fallen on your knees and declared your belief in Jesus as the Messiah? People often reference Augustine’s saying that if Jesus had only cried, “come forth,” without designating Lazarus, perhaps all of the dead would have risen at that time. Consider that one day you will hear Jesus say “come forth.” 
  3. Read Revelation 21:1-27. Do you look forward to heaven? Have you considered reading the Bible as a travel guide to heaven? 
  4. Read John 14. As Resurrection Sunday draws near, you will have memories of past celebrations — some warm and happy; others may bring tears. As you read through the popular passage in John, pray, asking God to give you peace in your heart this Easter, knowing that He is preparing a place for us and that one day we will be in glory with Jesus.