As we make our way through Holy Week, have you ever thought about Jesus' emotional state during his tumultuous last days?
He went from the absolute height of emotions when multitudes of admirers and followers welcomed him into Jerusalem, hailing him as King; to the very bottom~~being accused, flogged, mocked and spit upon as he hung on a cross to die an unbelievably cruel death. All in the course of one short week.
Jesus triumphant entrance into Jerusalem.
They hailed him as King of Israel!
He knew what was coming, yet he endured it all for you and me. He was sent to earth for exactly what was going to happen. He was God and He knew what he had to do, but he was still fully human and without a doubt he felt all of the emotions and dread, knowing what was coming his way.
As he made it through the jubilant and boisterous crowds, where they were shouting Hosanna and bowing their palm fronds towards him, I'm sure he was thinking "Finally, they are hailing me for what I truly am, their King." Have I finally gotten through to them? Even in this late hour?
But he knew the week wasn't over and there were still many prophesied events that needed to come to pass. Imagine knowing your fate like he did? What a blessing that our God has spared us that incredible test of faith. It must have been overwhelming for Jesus to know the way he was going to die, and that the weight of the sins of all humanity were going with him to that cross. What a horrific burden, yet he endured it all, without a word. He was totally obedient to the will of his Father in Heaven.
As he gathered with his twelve disciples, he knew that he would be betrayed by one of them for the price of silver. Sound familiar? How many on this earth are murdered innocently for money?Yet he sat with them, and taught them about his sacrifice to come and the importance of this New Covenant, what we now know as Holy Communion, that they were enjoying together. Though they didn't understand because he spoke in parables, they undoubtedly sensed things were going to radically change and soon. Mark 14:17,20 says "When the evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said " I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me--one who is eating with me.. It is one of the twelve, he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him."
Jesus and his twelve disciples celebrate the "Last Supper"
After they finished their Passover meal, Jesus took them to the Garden of Gethsemane,and instructed them to keep watch while he went to pray. Mark 14:33-34 says "He took Peter, James and John along with him and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death", he said to them."Stay here and keep watch." Going a little father, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father, he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me, Yet not what I will, but what you will, be done."
When he returned to other disciples, he found them sleeping. Can you imagine his feeling at their total unconcern about what was about to happen? They couldn't even handle a simple request like keeping guard while he prayed. He must have been so disappointed in them. Soon, he would be turned over, betrayed, arrested and everything he told them was about to come to pass. I think they probably didn't understand or believe that it was really going to come down, but it was-- just as it had been prophesied about centuries before.
Jesus is overwhelmed with sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane
As I've been praying this week about Jesus and his sacrifice, I have been overwhelmed with his incredible demeanor during this week. He was human after all, but he knew what was coming and still kept his cool. He didn't lose it. He was composed and God-like, not letting his humanity take over his feelings, which I'm sure were boiling up inside him. He did ask his Father for a way out - but with the caveat of having His Father's will be done. We know what the answer to that question was.
As we head into mourning the crucifixion and then celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord, try to picture what your feelings would be if this were happening to you? Can you imagine it? Can you imagine dying for someone you've never met? We all have bad weeks, and complain and whine about them. Next time you're going through one, think of Jesus and his final week. Your problems won't seem so bad after all.
Jesus had true Love, Jesus had true Passion.
My verses for today are in red.
My prayer for today:
Dear Heavenly Father:
I am overwhelmed with your passion for me and for the world. It is so incredible, so unfathomable, that you would send your Son to earth to die for us, in our place. What an unselfish gift. Thank you Lord for your graciousness. Help us to remember what you did, and spread the news of your gospel and your Son and your amazing Love.
In Jesus Name,