A Devotion for the Wednesday of Holy Week: The Waiting Day

black cross statue

It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.’” Mark 14:1-2

There are empty days in my calendar. I keep a paper day planner calendar and most days have something written on them. But I see that Wednesday, February 19 is empty. I know I rode to work, I taught class, and I must have met people. But there’s nothing written down for that day. But still it mattered because it brought me to Thursday and Friday on which there’s a lot written.
That’s the Wednesday of Holy Week also. Other than the short verses from Mark 14, we have a blank day in the middle of the most important week in the world. What did Jesus do on Wednesday? Perhaps the answer is in what his enemies did. This Wednesday of Holy Week was the day they absolutely determined to kill Jesus and to seek someone to betray him. From here on, their plans were set and the cross was coming.
What is striking is that, even knowing this, Jesus has a day that is blank. He knows of their plot and he knows that they’ll find Judas to betray him. We might have asked Jesus, “Aren’t you going to do something about this?” His answer would be, “Yes. I’m going to let it happen. This is really my plan, though they think it’s theirs.” And so, this Wednesday, he knew what was coming and readied himself for it. Perhaps it was a day of prayer with his Father. Perhaps it was a day to enjoy the familiar company of his disciples and others like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Perhaps it was a day to rest quietly, knowing the ordeal that was coming.
Maybe those are the same things we can do today. This quiet Wednesday can be a day to pray, a day to cherish our families and those close to us, and a day to rest. It is certainly a day to be in awe of Jesus who could have filled this Wednesday with miracles that would have left his enemies powerless. But no, he knew the cross had to come and he prepared for it today. So, we have a day of thanks that he filled this empty day with the determination to go forward to the cross and, beyond that, to the empty tomb.

Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, thank you that you sent your Son to fill every day with his plan to live among us, teach, heal, and serve. But most of all, thank you that he came to fill our empty days with his love and forgiveness. Help us to focus today on his willingness to face the cross for us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

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