Today is Holy (Spy) Wednesday. I’ve been journeying through Holy Week with some friends with the intent of visiting Christ in His suffering. For more on why I think Holy Week is important, check out this post: The Hole in our Holy Week.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to Jesus during Holy Week is to enter into His suffering. Chances are, we’ve grown familiar with the stories leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection. If that’s the case, we must diligently work that much harder to place ourselves in the stories.
Take a second to clear your mind. Recognize that in this moment, as in all moments, you’re in the presence of God. You’re about to enter into the story of the man who gave His life for yours. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter right now. What’s waiting for you today doesn’t matter either. In this moment, you’re here to visit Jesus in His final moments. You’re not here to give advice or to talk about your problems. You’re just here to be with Him.
Luke 22:47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” 54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
HOLY WEEK: ABANDONED
One thing we often miss in the stories of Jesus’ final days is how completely and utterly alone He was. This story shows us, step by step, relationship by relationship, how Christ was rejected and abandoned by those around Him. We’ve all had seasons where we’ve been let down in our relationships, but in this story, Jesus walks through a relational desert few have entered.
He was the loneliest man on the planet.
One disciple betrays Him while the rest abandon Him, save for one other who follows in the shadows, too scared to come forward while Jesus is beaten and mocked; so He denies ever knowing the man.
The disciple who betrays Him is a man whom Jesus has invested three years of His life into. A man who turns Him over for roughly a half year’s wages. A man leading a mob of embittered people looking to bring violence against the Prince of Peace.
Remember, the reason we’re here is to connect with Him emotionally, like a close friend going through a difficult time. So try to put yourself in the place of Jesus.
This mob is bent on punishing you for the ministry you’ve done. In this mob are people — real people — they’re not a faceless mob. They’re people you were with day after day at church. People you taught. People you prayed for. People who applauded your sermons. People you love.
Hours earlier, one of your most trusted disciples declared his extreme devotion to you. Now, you can see Him off in the distance. As you’re being unjustly ridiculed, He’s shaking his head. You hear him shout, “I don’t know the man!” That’s when your eyes catch his. They seem to be reflecting the grief found in yours.
Like dominoes, one by one, all of Jesus’ relationships fall apart. Soon, even the relationship to His Father will be fractured, leading Him to cry out in anguish, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
The short answer is
The Christ of Holy Week shows us a unique side of the Son of God. His stories show us that He didn’t come just to save us from our sins. He came to be with us. He came to feel what we feel. He came to enter our struggle. He accepted pain and heartache and betrayal that He might know us.
He entered darkness to show us the light.
He was forsaken that we may be forgiven.
He was abandoned that we may be adopted.
And for this, He deserves all praise and glory and honor.
soli deo gloria
THINK ABOUT IT:
Have you ever felt alone before? How did you feel in those moments? How can knowing Jesus’ loneliness help you with those same feelings in the future?
Thanks for reading! I’m going to be journeying through Holy Week with some friends who’d like to set time aside to visit Christ in His suffering. Each day, we’ll look at a passage from Jesus’ final days and take some time to pray and seek Him. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you. Click this link to get the devotional emailed to you each day: SEND ME THE DEVOTIONAL