The division of the world was accomplished in seven days.
The division was planned for eternity, and the instrument was prepared for 33 years, but the act itself happened in the span of a mere week.
A week ago was Palm Sunday: the remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, as a King.
Zechariah lived 586 years before Christ’s birth, and prophesied the coming King (Zech 9:9-10):
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
The battle bow shall be cut off.
He shall speak peace to the nations;
His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.’
Jesus entered, on the foal of a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy, and the people cried “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!”
Jesus then said (John 12:27-35):
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
One week later, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, arrested, and condemned. He died on the cross, commended His spirit to the Father’s will, descended into Hell, led captivity captive, ascended to Heaven, and gave gifts to men (see Ephesians 4), so that we who believe might walk in unity of spirit.
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
After Jesus’ resurrection, over 500 people saw Him. Fifty days later, Peter preached after receiving the power of the Holy Spirit and 3,000 believed and were baptized.
One small crack in the kingdom of the world became a gaping schism that still divides today.
For the things of God and His Kingdom, and the desires placed in the hearts of men and women who know Him by His Spirit, and the power of His resurrection, are not the things of this world. They cannot be reconciled to material things, to selfish things, to worldly things. The world has no understanding of them.
God meant for it to be this way. John 3:3-21:
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Jesus had to die, so that we could be born again. Jesus had to rise again, so we could be saved.
The foolish things of this world confound the wise, and the most foolish thing in the history of the world is a King, riding on the colt of a donkey, betrayed, crucified, and risen, so that the world would be forever divided to establish God’s Kingdom in men’s hearts.
One such heart beat with God’s fire, and penned this poem over 100 years ago.
by G.K. CHESTERTON
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
Yes, this is a Christmas song, but Jesus lived to die. He did it all for me. And all for you. He was born into this world for this one purpose.