“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrew 12:2b-3
Recently I read an article where a photographer had re-created the last meals of several condemned men and women. The meals ranged from fried chicken, to ice cream to a single olive. What must it be like to eat that meal knowing that the next day will be your last?
Today, known in some traditions as Maundy Thursday, is the day we commemorate the Last Supper. Jesus sat in the upper room, surrounded by these men he had walked with and taught for years. As they celebrated Passover together, Jesus knew what was going to happen.
Did the bread taste different that night? Was it hard to swallow the wine? Did He eat less than usual? Did any of the disciples notice something different or was it a normal meal among friends? I can’t imagine the faith it took for Jesus to sit there and eat, to sit there and teach when He knew where the night would take Him. I wonder if He was tempted to run?
Everything that happened over the next few days – the arrest, the trial, the agony of His passion and the joy of His resurrection – was possible because Jesus stayed on the path God had set before Him. If you are in the midst of pain today, it can be tempting to run from God. It could even be easier to say, “This is too much, ask someone else.” But God does not waste our pain.
In a recent post Sheridan Voysey wrote, “God turned our broken dream into a new beginning.” He went on to quote Adrian Plass who said, “In the Christian scheme of things new life follows the death of something, just as Jesus’ resurrection followed His crucifixion.”
If you are facing loss today, take heart. The resurrection is coming.
Jesus, They called you a man of sorrows, familiar with grief. You know the weight of suffering and the taste of tears. Be with those who mourn today. Touch Your healing fingers to the broken places. As we prepare to walk through the remembrance of Your suffering help us to hold on to the truth that the resurrection is coming. You do not leave us in broken pieces, You promise to restore us in Your timing. Help us to remain in You, we pray, amen.
If you or someone you know is in pain today, bring that pain to God. It can be tempting to isolate yourself, but don’t do that. Go to church, and during worship, let the words of the songs wash over you. Be in the house of God. Ask others to pray with you. If you have a prayer request, an online mentor would love to connect with you and pray with you today. Click here and submit a prayer request.