December 20 Advent Devotion

From “Jesus Bucket List” by David Palmer

Did Jesus have a “Bucket List” of things he would like to do in his final days? Yes! As we read the gospel accounts of his passion week, we see that he showed his priorities and values by what was on his list of things to do while he was still on earth. (See: Mark 11 & 12, John 13-16 etc.)

1.      His Entry Procession: Jesus entered Jerusalem with pageantry in fulfillment of prophecy. But he didn’t come as a victorious warrior king on a valiant warhorse; he came on a humble donkey—a servant king.

2.      He cursed the fig tree. It had all the appearance and trapping of a fruitful life, but alas, all the cosmetics were merely a façade—a camouflage for a fruitless existence. Jesus found this intolerable.

3.      He cleansed the temple. One of Jesus’s last acts on earth before he departed through death was to take a whip to those who were using a religious system to make money out of, and to oppress genuine worshippers.

4.      He restored teaching, prayer, and healing to God’s people.

5.      He stirred up his haters, and gave them one last opportunity to renounce their resistance to truth.

6.      He taught faith to his disciples. This was when he did his famous teaching on faith, speaking to the mountain, and believing prayer.

7.      But he emphasized forgiveness. He was just about to die to make forgiveness and reconciliation possible; it was uppermost in his mind, and he invested his valuable time to emphasize it to his disciples.

8. He enjoyed some fellowship and worship with his close followers (John 12).

9. He invested in one final exclusive session with his 12 disciples (John 13-16).

10. He took his three closest followers to a place important to him—the Garden of Gethsemane.

 Finally, he went to intimate prayer with his Father—and drew strength to go to the cross for us all.

Jesus’ bucket list shows his heart, his values, and the importance he placed on fulfilling his Father’s assignment with excellence. It reveals that he esteemed: living God’s word, humility and submission, faith, zeal for God’s house, prayer, imparting God’s word, forgiveness, fellowship, worship, discipleship, and intimate communion with God. Let’s allow his values to become ours as we freshly gaze upon his life, his dedication, and his submission to his Father—the humble obedience that led him to embrace crucifixion for others.

 David Palmer (as submitted by Bob Spencer)

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