Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two terminally ill men seeking to fulfill a list of wishes before each pass away in the 2007 film Bucket List. This movie has spawned a worldwide movement, awakening souls to make the most of their time on earth. Books, social media and you tube videos have helped spread this grassroots movement to live out your childhood dreams.
Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Passover Feast. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning [to [j]Nazareth], after spending the required number of days [at the Feast], the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. Now His parents did not know this, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and traveled a day’s journey; and [then] they began searching [anxiously] for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him [everywhere]. 46 Three days later they found Him in the [court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions, Luke 2:41-46.
As I read through the New Testament, it appears Jesus had his own bucket list consisting of three goals. The first occurs immediately following his bar mitzvah, the Jewish ceremony where a twelve year old boy becomes a man. Similar to Confirmation for Christians, this tradition allowed Jesus to officially join the temple and begin to teach. Jesus was so excited by this opportunity that he spent three days inside the Nazareth temple listening to and debating adults. According to Luke, Jesus spoke with authority without having any former education.
When the wine was all gone, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no more wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “[Dear] woman, what is that to you and to Me? My time [to act and to be revealed] has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it,” John 2:3-5.
While waiting 12 years to finally teach, Jesus spent the next 18 living in obscurity as a carpenter. After John the Baptist was imprisoned, this set the stage for next phase of Jesus’ life, to become a fisher of men. However, Jesus needed to call twelve men to become his disciples, only half way there at the time of the wedding above. Jesus’ second item on his bucket list was performing miracles, waiting for his ministry team to be complete. Yet, Jesus promised to obey his parents at the end of Luke 2, choosing to honor his mother’s request anyway.
There are also many other signs (attesting miracles) that Jesus performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe [with a deep, abiding trust] that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God; and that by believing [and trusting in and relying on Him] you may have life in His name, John 20:30-31.
This initial miracle pails in comparison to the last item on Jesus’ bucket list. Jesus refers to preparing a place for his disciples in heaven, John 14:1-4. However, completing his mission on earth involved suffering and dying. This final goal took 3 years of planning, a selfless heart and the will to finish what God began. Thus, while hanging on a cross, Jesus signals the accomplishment of this final item in John 19:30. When Jesus says, “it is finished,” this means that Jesus completed the will of God on earth. While checking off items from a bucket list is an honorable pursuit, the greatest thing you can do in life is identifying, obeying and completing God’s will for your life on earth.
by Jay Mankus