Join me in a special series called “Stations of the Cross”. We will walk the Stations of the Cross that led to the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We will focus on what we can learn from Jesus and how we can apply His wisdom to our lives.
STATION 1: “Jesus in the Garden”
Jesus has just finished the Passover meal with His disciples. He knows what awaits Him in the coming days. He knows that he will soon suffer terribly and be crucified. What does he do? Does He formulate a plan to get out of Jerusalem? Does he call 911? Does He start blaming others around Him? No. Jesus retreats to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, to talk with the father.
Matthew 26:36-41 (TNIV)
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
When we are facing difficulties what is our first instinct? To blame others, to make excuses for our situation? When things in our life seem insurmountable, when we are sick with worry, grief or guilt, prayer should be the first thing we do. In prayer we show our trust for the Father, we settle things with God. In prayer we find refuge and strength. In prayer we walk with Jesus, indeed with God the Father and He walks with us!
One reason I love FaceBook is that I am given many opportunities to walk with Jesus in prayer and with others that are asking for prayer. We all walk together when we pray for and with each other. We find strength and support in our time of trouble.
Jesus knew what was coming. Jesus willingly walked to the Cross on our behalf. Yet it wasn’t an easy task and he looked to the Father for refuge and strength as an example of what we should also do.
STATION 2: “The Betrayal of Jesus by Judas”
There are lessons here. So very often, our actions reveal what is in our heart that we try to hide through deceptive actions. Also, again, Jesus knows what fate awaits Him in the coming days, yet He willingly continues along the path.
Mark 14:43-46 (TNIV)
43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him.
Often, we can hide what is deep in our heart through deception as Judas did here……by way of a kiss. In reality, this kiss meant what was really in the heart of Judas. His deceitful heart was masked behind….a kiss. The lesson is that our true heart catches up with us. Indeed, it is better to be “up-front”, to be honest and take the consequences rather that live with a deceitful heart. Judas turned against Jesus; he hid the evil in his heart behind a kiss…..a common greeting. Most obviously, this was the beginning of the end for Judas…his life was ruined.
Here is the key, none of us is perfect. However, when we come upon a condition of our heart that we know isn’t right….work on it, wrestle with it and become stronger in righteousness. How do we know what is right? Look to God’s wisdom, indeed, the wisdom of Jesus. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t covet, don’t steal (and on and on)…..and when you are tempted…..wrestle with it, resist it and allow God to strengthen your heart.
Again, it is evident through these Scriptures that Jesus knew what would happen to him in the coming days, yet as we read the context of these Scriptures (related in all four Gospels), we find that Jesus practices what He preaches in loving His enemies. Jesus reattaches the ear of the servant of the high priest that was cut off by one of the disciples (Peter). Indeed, Jesus willingly goes with these men and offers no resistance.
John 18:11 (TNIV)
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Luke 22:51 (TNIV)
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
May you walk with Jesus in the good times and in the troubling times. May God be your refuge and strength. Walk with me this coming week as we walk with Jesus to the Cross on Calvary.