When life takes a turn–for good or for bad, it can come at us like a curve ball–and we don’t know whether to come out swinging or stand still and risk a shot at a home run.
Another not-so-good option is often the most appealing: tuck tail and run!
We are so quick to judge those disciples when we look at how they reacted to Jesus’ arrest, but truth be told, we have probably been guilty of cowering to a much lesser evil.
I can’t help but wonder how those disciples felt when their lives were turned upside down the moment Jesus was arrested in the garden. Their perspective on who He was certainly changed in an instant. This One who had called them out–they had dined with Him, walked with Him, served with Him. They had seen Him perform miracles and proclaimed Him Messiah. They left everything to follow Him. Yet, here they were:
He had tried to prepare them, but they still had a faulty mindset. They were looking for an earthly king to reign on earth–He came to reign in their hearts, and this critical moment in history–this turn of events changed everything.
The movie, The Passion, had to be rated R for violence, and I found myself turning my eyes off Jesus because I couldn’t bear to watch. The agony of the cross is unbearable, and the beating and scourging that He endured was just as brutal. How much more utterly devastating it must have been for those disciples and other followers that had come to love Him… and His mother! Oh my goodness, the thought of what that poor woman went through is unimaginable. I sometimes wonder if she really understood who her son was, and even if she did believe, this tragedy had to have completely devastated her. These people were human, and humanly speaking it seemed that HOPE had died. Would we have reacted any differently? I think not.
Our society still embraces the Easter season and despite the commercialism, it remains a time that many will think about the cross and resurrection. Much like the others in the crowd that day–the curious onlookers, there are still those who will come to church on Easter Sunday for a different reason. Searching for truth? Looking for answers? Hoping for an encounter? fulfilling a sense of duty? True motives or not, I am thankful that there are still those looking for a risen Savior. God’s Word promises that if we truly seek Him, we will find Him. I pray this year will be no different. That lives will be changed. That I will be changed.
When I see the old rugged cross, I am so grateful to be living on this side of Calvary. We are privileged to see and hear this story with a perspective that they could not. We can read it, from the prophecies of the Old Testament–to the culmination in the New Testament–already knowing the final outcome:
He conquered sin and death and hell. He lives victorious and reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
…then why oh why do we not see the big picture when it comes to our lives? Why can we not believe, even when we don’t understand, that we can TRUST HIM?
Why is it really so hard for us to handle change? It’s obvious that tragedy plays havoc on our emotions, but it’s not just the difficult that throws us for a loop. So many of us (myself included) struggle with those times when life takes a turn, especially when it comes quickly. Because life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, we have a decision to make: “Will I trust Him, even when I don’t understand or even when life doesn’t make sense?”
Every day we are faced with new challenges, and when faced with a change of plan, our friendship with routine can suffer. I crave routine. Routine is my friend. Problem is, there are so many things in life that cannot be filed away as routine. Even the things we think are routine can become burdensome if they are borne out of habit more than necessity. Jesus’ disciples were much more comfortable when He fit into their mold, but He made it clear that this turn of events had to happen. For the disciples, only time would reveal the answer to the question “why?”. As for us, we sometimes discover the reason for twists and turns in our plans, but other times we just have to wait until eternity proves HIS plan.
Change of plans? Life interrupted?
Think of the cross. The resurrection. He is alive. He’s on the throne of heaven and He knows.
Jesus was keenly aware of the agony He faced, yet, “He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
When life takes a turn, keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t look away just because it’s hard. Watch and wait. Be willing to follow even when it’s difficult.
“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”