Three years. Jesus only had three years of His public ministry to do what He did for us on the cross. It makes me think of what else can happen in three years. I looked around the internet and found a few things that people say can happen during that amount of time. Most UK undergraduate degrees take less than three years to complete. Once in a blue moon may refer to a rare event, but you can experience a blue moon roughly once every three years. If you can get your hands on a spacecraft, travelling to Mars only takes about six months; however, Earth and Mars are only close together roughly every two years. So to complete this journey, it would take three years. If you walk at a speed of three miles per hour for eight hours a day, it would take about three years to walk the distance around the world. One person said, “It takes an average of two years, eleven months and eight days to go from meeting someone special to getting engaged.”
Three years is not a lot of time. In fact, it is just the beginning of something. In Jesus’ life, his three years of public ministry was only a small introduction of who He is. We are still studying and praying about His life on earth thousands of years later. So, what are some of the things Jesus did in three years that we are still coming and seeing?
Jesus humbled Himself to be baptized by His creation and allowed Himself to be emptied and tempted in the wilderness. He gathers disciples, apostles, and friends. He performs miracles, teaches with authority, forgives sinners, and challenges religious leaders to think and act differently. He tells people that God is love and that following Him is not about following a set of rules for the rule’s sake. He is rejected in His hometown of Nazareth. He sends out His twelve apostles on their missions and instructs them how to share His gospel message. He prays. He rests. He eats and drinks with religious and sinners. He feeds the 5,000. At one point, everything is going well for Him. He has everyone’s attention. The crowds are gathering around him saying. “We believe. We believe. We believe you are the Son of God and can do anything.” Then He talks about His Body and Blood being real food and real drink. They are confused by what He is saying, so He doubles down and says that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood has eternal life. Many who said they believed turned away from Him. After revealing this truth, Jesus continued with His ministry and raised Lazarus from the dead. The Jewish religious leaders plot to murder Him to save their own way of life and their own way of thinking. They are stuck in the mindset that “this is how we have always done it.” There is so much more that Jesus did in His three years, but His final journey to Jerusalem and His entrance into the city on the first Palm Sunday, begins today, Holy Week.
Three years looks so small when we compare it to the age of our universe which is over 13 billion years old or to our earth which is 4.5 billion years old. Three years is not a lot of time. Jesus doesn’t delay to save us. In fact, what we see is that He rushes to save us. Three years, one holy week, and three days in the tomb is not a lot of time in comparison to time itself, and yet these events that we remember this week changed creation forever. Jesus coming here is just an introduction to His great love for you and me. He wants us to know that our God isn’t here to destroy us, but He is willing to be destroyed to save us.
This week, let us pray that we slow down our lives and learn more why we call this week Holy. Jesus has something to say to all of us, so please, even just for three minutes each day, come thirsty for His love.