Saturday, April 7, 2012
Jesus Last Hours
If I knew I was going to die within the next 24 hours, what would I do? This sounds like a creepy icebreaker question at a party, but it is actually the question I started my day off with yesterday.
I think if I did know I was going to die within the next day, I would be very sad and scared. Not scared without hope, because I know I am in God's hands - but still scared of the unknown experience ahead. I would cry and hug my husband and make sure he knows how deeply I love him. I'm not sure if there is much more I would be capable of doing in a moment like that.
Yesterday was Good Friday, the day we remember that Jesus died for us, that He willingly endured the torture of death on a cross so that he could extend God's grace and love to every one of us. So the night before Jesus died, while He knew what was about to happen, what did Jesus do?
I spent some time yesterday reading John chapters 13 to 19. This is what Jesus did in the hours before being arrested, put on trial, and crucified. He was with his disciples, teaching them, comforting them, preparing them for what was ahead. In these last hours, His words to His disciples included these -
Serve each other, as I have served you
Love each other, as I have loved you
Trust in Me
Peace I leave with you
Do not be afraid
Remain in Me
I chose you
Listen to the Spirit I will send, learn from Him
There is sadness ahead, but there is even greater joy ahead!
In this world you will have trouble, but take heart - I have overcome the world.
And then He prayed for them (and for us!) -
For them to know God and therefore have real life in God
For them to be unified, as Jesus is unified with the Father
For protection, to remain faithful to the Truth in a world of evil and lies.
For maturity, for oneness, for God and His love to be seen in them
Jesus, knowing He was mere hours from death, poured love onto His disciples. Taught them and strengthened them with words that they wouldn't even understand until later. Jesus did not succumb to fear of what was ahead for himself, but turned to his disciples to comfort and prepare them for what was ahead for them.
I am amazed by my Lord, my Saviour, of His selfless love, His willing sacrifice, His offer of grace to me and to everyone. By His wounds we are healed.