Easter Sunday is coming, but first, we have to confront what we call passion week.
Passion in Latin means to endure or suffering. Jesus does a lot of that the last week of His life. He goes from hero (Palm Sunday) to zero (Good Friday) and back to hero (Easter morning).
I have been reading in John 13:21-30 to get ready for this week’s sermon. It started out to be about Judas but evolved into being about Jesus (after all it is about Jesus, isn’t it?!), but then it became about me, and it became about you.
I could barely get past the first verse of this passage — “After saying these things Jesus was troubled …” Jesus was all man, but He was also all God. In His humanity He hurt just like you and I. He was tempted, sometimes prayed for a Plan B (Matthew 26:39) but at the end of the day, he got it done - so can you (Philippians 4:13).
Jesus experienced the death of a good friend (John 11:35), the betrayal of one of His squad (Luke 22:48), one of His better disciples denied even knowing Him (Luke 22:54-62) and only one of the twelve hung around as Jesus went to the tree (John 19:25-27). When Lazarus died it says, “Jesus wept.” Some translate that verse to say, “Jesus burst into tears.” His sorrow was spontaneous. My point is what troubles you troubles Jesus, He has been there and done that.
I’m troubled by the dysfunction of the church. I’m troubled by my family, I’m troubled by our culture. I’m troubled by fake friends. Haters and social media drive me nuts. I’m crushed by the weight of prayer concerning people without Christ. It hurts to see those with Christ not progress in their discipleship. Life troubles me, life is hard and then you die.
I have a friend that says, “When traveling a difficult path, it’s always been best to find a guide that has already been down that road.” Jesus is that guide. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Ahh, did you feel that? The load just got lighter. Peter said to cast your care on Jesus because He cares for you (1st Peter 5:7). My burden is His burden, my cares are His cares and I can trust this guy named Jesus, He has been to the tree and He feels my pain. You can trust Him too. He told me to tell you that.
Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.