Written by: Tim Wood

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.  (Mark 10:45 NIV)

It’s interesting to see how much the Gospels focus on the last week of Jesus’ life. Over one third of the Gospels are devoted to it.  Here’s a breakdown:

·       A third of Matthew, from Matthew 21-28

·       A third of Mark, from Mark 11-16

·       A quarter of Luke, from Luke 19-24

·       Nearly half of John, from John 12-20

Most of John's Gospel concentrates on the last week of Jesus life. As a matter of fact, chapters 13-19 are dedicated to one day. One full day. There are a total of 89 chapters from all four Gospels. Of those 89 chapters, 29 of them deal with the final week of Jesus’ life.

These statistics led Andy Naselli to say “The Gospels are essentially passion narratives with extended introductions.”  He’s right.

But what makes the passion narrative so important for Christians?  It shows us that the heart and purpose of Jesus' life and ministry was to give his life for us. To die in our stead. To be raised in victory and give us the hope of a victorious resurrection as well. It shows us the essence of Christianity. The Gospels are clear, very clear, that the Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many.

Jesus, keep us near the cross.