How Can We Endure It?
…by Chuck Graham
I’ve tried studying those days before Jesus’ crucifixion, but it’s hard to keep at it. So many distractions. Important things. Difficult things. Outside things that leave me exhausted, sad, afraid, confused, angry, anxious, even hopeless. Ever feel that way?
But setting aside my life for a moment, I can look deeper into the life of the one called Son of David, Son of Man, Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah…this Jesus of Nazareth. Especially His last days. And I discovered something. Let me set the stage.
The days before Jesus’ arrest were disheartening, glorious, and everything in between. Crowds followed him and He patiently taught them about love and kindness, mercy and forgiveness. He told them of the Kingdom of God. But they did not understand.
They have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear.
He spoke of not seeing the truth or hearing their heavenly Father. He urged them to walk in righteousness and not fall to the disease of sin. So they brought the blind, deaf, lame, and sick. Because He loved them, he healed them all. But they did not understand.
Sadducees, Pharisees, and teachers of the law, with arrogance and hatred, pretended to seek answers while laying traps with double-sided questions. Yet Jesus spoke instead of the darkness within their hardened hearts. But they did not understand.
He told the Disciples the secret of His mission, explained the meaning of parables, and warned them of hard days that lay ahead. Over and over again He described His coming betrayal, arrest, torture, death, and resurrection. But they did not understand.
Then came that dreadful night. The Disciples’ disbelief. Judas’ treachery. His own loneliness and anguish in the Garden. The arrest. Abandonment by His friends. Peter’s denial he knew Him. The humiliation, torture, and death. But they did not understand.
Jesus showed us how to survive life’s hardships.
Though Jesus held the power to stop it all, He followed God’s will rather than what human emotions so deeply desired. Why? Because lives hung in the balance. And out of His incredible love, He asked that they be forgiven. Because they did not understand.
So what did I discover? When life gets hard, we collapse within ourselves, focusing on the hurt, pain, frustration, and disappointment. We feel exhausted, sad, afraid, confused, angry, anxious, even hopeless. And so did Jesus. But He showed us how to survive.
Keep your eyes on the Father. Focus on His perfect will. Stay true to the calling He has given you. Follow the path He has set before you. And remember…Jesus knows what it feels like, and He is always with you, even to the end of time. Do you understand?
Take care & be God’s,
For your love for God …Read : Matthew 13:15-16 and Mark 8-14.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching how to encourage one another. Also an author and speaker, Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org .
2 nd Photo: Jim Caviezel, The Passion of the Christ, Icon Productions, 2004.