I have so many thoughts and emotions and they are all jumbled together [as are all of my thoughts] about this week and I am praying that God will sort them out for me to be clear. I have really been pondering and trying to grasp in my heart of hearts what Holy Week really means...to me personally. How the happenings of this week, and what Jesus did, impact me. Bottom line is that Jesus suffered, died and rose and in each of these there is something that makes my heart skip a beat at the realization that, of all people, He didn't deserve it, yet He endured it so that I can be free and righteous before Him. He suffered. He took it -remained quiet with little to no responses. He never defended Himself. Painful - not only physically but emotionally and mentally. But the joy in all of this is that He has risen indeed! He overcame death. He conquered death. He gave His life so that I have eternal life, in Him.
I am reading three different devotions right now regarding Lent, Easter and Holy Week. Matthew 26 has been the focus so far this week and there is so much about Jesus' time in the garden that strikes me and grabs my heart. He is sobbing, crying out to His Father. Asking for what He knows lies ahead, to be taken from Him. Is there any other way? Is there something else that can be done? I can't even imagine His pain and emotion. But this reminder is that when we are going through our own pain and suffering, it is our Heavenly Father who we need to run to. It is to His feet that we need to fall and pour out our hearts to Him. We have the same access to God and He hears us just the same. Now the hard part is next, trusting and being in full obedience for what is God's plan and not ours. Jesus says ' I want your will to be done, not mine' (v.39b) and then again 'Your will be done' (v.41b) and this is where I sit with my jaw on the floor. How does He do it. Even to death, He is obedient. He is willing to obey at all cost. What about me? Am I willing to obey and allow Him to complete His will in my life? Lets be honest, my obedience isn't even half as painful as His was and yet I struggle with the simplest things some times. So, this just sparks a flame in my heart to be aware of what He is asking and not only to obey but seek Him first in my struggles [instead of calling my Mom, texting my friends, or trying to talk something through with Justin] go to my Heavenly Father and fall to His feet and surrender...'Your will Father be done, not mine'.
The garden is where I pause to hear His sobs and His prayers. Its where I see that cup we poured so violently spilling over. And its where I thank Him for His willingness to drink every last drop of it. For me. - She Reads Truth, Holy Week DevotionalAnd then we fast forward to the glorious Easter morning. Jesus was gone from the tomb yet very well alive. He had risen. He was with His Father. He defeated death. He won. And when I think about this part of Easter and how Jesus left perfection to become fully human, just like you and me, to live in this corrupt world. To live a perfect life and die the death of a criminal. I can't help but think of his explanation to the disciples in John:
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don't the Advocate won't come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world's sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. - John 16:7-10There is so much wrapped up into His Resurrection. It is the proof that He is the Messiah, and that He is the Savior of the world. It is freedom. It is access to the Father. It is redemption. It is gaining the Holy Spirit. It is access to the Father. It is forgiveness.....and the list goes on. But for me, right now these are the focus of my Lenten Season and this Easter. That I will fall to the Father in any time of need and trust in His will over my desires and be willing to be fully obedient. And to remember that Jesus over came all and is in us through the Spirit. All we have to do is believe, in Him! Amen.
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges, He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of the highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:7-11