I’ve been reflecting a lot on this weekend with Easter coming up in a few days. I was reading John 16-20 which mentions Jesus’ death and resurrection. There is so much beauty in this story. Jesus understands suffering. He meets us not only in the best moments of our lives but in the darkest valleys.
He promised the disciples of His resurrection, and they believed it to be a mystery. We might not always know what God is calling us to do, but we do know that one day we will understand. The sorrow the disciples experienced when Jesus died was sorrow from loss of relationship, embarrassment of their Messiah dying, what felt like victory to their enemies, and their hopes were gone. Jesus understands our grief when we lose our relationships with others, how we can feel as if evil prevails, and he understands our disappointment. Jesus understood our pain of abandonment when his friends left in his time of trouble. He understands the loss of friendships. But unlike earthly abandonment we can experience, He came back when he rose from the dead.
In a world full of chaos, Jesus promises us peace. Yes, he does warn us that there will be trouble, but He has overcome the world. Jesus prayed for God’s will. When he prayed with his eyes lifted up to Heaven, He was hopeful. God desires for us to hope in Him in the worst circumstances.
The cross was embarrassment to the world, but to us it points to God being glorified. God can use even our guilt and shame for His glory. He died that we could have eternal life and grow in our knowledge of Him.
We also find that in John 17, Jesus desires for us to have unity. I think often times as believers, it is easy to get caught up in little things that cause strife. We are all one in Christ. Jesus was praying in God’s name. Here we see that he desires we place our identity in Him. We don’t have to place our identity in our sins, struggles, or accomplishments. Our identity is in Christ.
Jesus prayed for our joy to be fulfilled. In a world full of trouble, I find it so beautiful that Jesus is the only answer to true joy. Jesus was in complete control of the situation. When he was about to be crucified, He could’ve left, but instead he stayed. He made sure the disciples left which ensured their safety. Jesus will lay his life down for his sheep.
Peter cuts off the soldier’s ear, trying to prove his faith with a sword. How often do we come to defend Jesus with swords instead of defending Him with our words? Peter denied Jesus and wanted to be like others by fitting in. How often do we deny Jesus almost every day because we want the approval of others? In Peter’s fear, He denied Jesus. Fear can be very crippling. Pilate had an earthly kingdom and yet Jesus’ was eternal.
The crown of thorns and purple robe was used to embarrass Jesus. My pastor mentioned how there was healing for our minds when Jesus wore the crown of thorns. Jesus cares about our minds and anxiety. Jesus took the place of Barabbas and identified with sinners. He died in the center among humanity, sinful man, confusion, believing and rejecting, saved and dying, God’s history and work. Jesus had to give up all material possessions.
He fully finished what He was sent to do. After three days, He rose again. Mary went to find his Body, and Jesus met her even in her distress. She couldn’t even recognize Jesus in her sorrow. Thomas doubted. Yet Jesus had proof in his wounds. We can find healing in Jesus’ wounds. This story is so beautiful because it reminds me of how Jesus understands sorrow. He understands our pain. He is working in our midst. He understands loneliness. He understands betrayal and abandonment. Yet He still welcomes us with open arms. By his stripes we are healed.