Holy Week, the week that culminates in Jesus’ crucifixion and welcomes in a new week that begins with His resurrection, is a somber yet joyous time of year. When I contemplate Judas’ and Peter’s betrayal of Jesus, His suffering, the immense shame and physical pain that He endured on my behalf I am filled with awe. We know from scripture that Jesus also felt forsaken by the Father in His final moments and this alone is something that can be difficult to reconcile with the fact that Jesus is part of the Trinity. As it is written, “For God so love the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:10, NIV) This huge act on Jesus’ part, submitting to God’s will, secured us with the ultimate hope of eternity with Him.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Heb. 6:19) The writer of Hebrews was crystal clear about God’s covenant with mankind, the promise realized with Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection. Yet chaos continues, death tolls rise and mental illness is at a fever pitch. God may “feel” far away during this time of trouble that we are experiencing some two thousand years after the first Easter. It may feel like we are heading toward a waterfall cascading off a cliff with sharp rocks at the bottom. However, the rays of the Son of God reach out to touch us daily like the beams of sunshine kissing your skin. Jesus is walking with us, the Holy Spirit dwells within us (believers) and God is Sovereign.
The author of Lamentations wrote “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall*. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (3:19-26).
Our faith is not blind! We have a plethora of evidence of the goodness of God and His truth is revealed in scripture; truth that does not change with the whims of the human mind. As tempting as it is to bend the truth to fit our own idea of reality, this is not the way to eternal life. The truth is consistent and unchangeable. Our faith in this truth gives us hope to endure these trials. As Os Guinness writes in his book Fool’s Talk “… however bad the immediate, the ultimate is always hopeful, and in the tension between the immediate and the ultimate lies the possibility of the resilience of faith.”
This Holy Week I pray that you find rest in the loving Savior, that you are able to spend a little more time with Him and that you feel His love.
*gall, outrageous insolence, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English, 5th Edition.
Guinness, Os (2015) Fool’s Talk IVP Books: Downers Grove, IL