So, it was no wonder He needed a day of rest and it was decided to spend Wednesday in Bethany with friends Mary and Martha and His accompanying disciples. He thereby escaped the search parties in Jerusalem that the rabbis sent out to find Him and arrest Him. They knew He was dangerous to their ambition and riches and that He could destroy their lifestyle, so the plot was underway. Bethany was the perfect place to go since it was nearby and not a place to attract attention. Jesus knew and understood the importance of God's timelines. He was aware that His capture, arrest and ultimate death had to come around the Passover weekend. That was His Father's wish. So, Jesus would spend the time with His close friends and disciples on what would be His last day of rest in this world, for things would ramp up quickly on the next evening back in Jerusalem. He made final spiritual and mental preparations for the ordeal to come and He did so with love and grace. After all, He knew the event that was coming would be a horrible one, yet He also knew this was the ultimate reason for His being brought to earth: to die on Calvary's Cross.
Perhaps as we ourselves ponder this, we need to think what it would feel like for us to be in His shoes on that day. Could we handle the pressure? Honestly, no. Could we follow through if we thought there was a way to avoid the unbearable pain? Highly unlikely. Would we feel ashamed if we didn't live up to what the Father expected of us? Yes, but it likely wouldn't stop us from taking the easy way out if we could.
Now God understands these things; after all, He knows that we are made in His image, yet made with the gift of free will. And with Satan running loose on earth to tempt us, He also knows we will falter. One of the chief reasons for Jesus having lived as a man but also still being God is the the Savior represents the addition of forgiveness that mortals need if they are to be strong. The Old Testament, the precursor to the New Testament, provides the Law which dictates our rules on earth. But it was lacking something, and Jesus improved things dramatically by adding the concept of forgiveness, where He introduced the ability for us to change and improve with practice and devotion and it is a huge blessing He has provided. So, don't be ashamed, for God knows that we mortal humans are weak, yet He still wants us to live our lives as Jesus did on earth. And when we falter, Jesus is the One who forgives us if we believe and put our trust in Him. And the Holy Spirit, residing inside us, will lead us and guide us to Him. That gift of the Spirit, of course, only came later after His ascendance to heaven to reunite with the Father. And that's what His life was all about. Jesus was all about LOVE, and that's why the Wednesday before His death carries such importance. He spent that day letting His most important followers know just how important love, devotion and forgiveness are. And now we know.