photo from IfEquip
Jesus- the bravest person I know.
He knew the tragedy that would befall Him… He knew it full well. Deep down to His innermost being & His very core. He knew what would happen to His body and soul before heading back Home. Yet, in Mark 14 Jesus becomes the bravest person I know. He stands in front of the High Priest and answers his pointed question of, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” boldly and meekly at once.
I imagine Jesus standing to answer, taking a deep breath, straightening His shoulders, looking the High Priest in the eye and then authoritatively & strongly, but softly saying, “I am.”
This meekness and boldness completely astound and shock me. Who is this man who confidently takes on the Death of Deaths? And not just because it is most certainly written in the Scriptures, but because He wants to.
The hardest moments of His short, earthly life, Jesus faces alone. This day that is harder to bear than the day that the Devil himself tempts Him to throw Himself off of a building and be caught by angels, or the day that His dear friend Lazarus dies. This day that will be marked down as the darkest day in history. When the sun disappears, the earth goes black, and My Beloved friend dies alone. On this day filled with the putrid sounds and smells of death and crucifixtion and mocking, He is alone. His disciples and friends turned away from Him. I turned away from Him. We all did. And we all do.
We are all Peter, and Judas, and Pilate, and the High Priest, and the guards. We are the townspeople screaming at the tops of our lungs, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!!” Can’t you hear yourself? Can’t you feel your stomach turning, and your eyes burning with hot, confused, selfish tears as you look upon the only face who has ever truly known you? I hear my own voice reverberating off the nearest wall, loud, and harsh, and cruel, as Jesus stands bold and meek before me, eyes still overflowing with adoration and love for His people, ready to endure this unimaginable darkness for the wretched 22 year old girl standing in front of Him, denying him openly to His face.
I desperately pray I would recognize my voice as one amongst the scoffers. I pray I would resonate with and not hate those who turned their faces from our sweet Jesus, because I am them. I choose the world every single day when I know what and Who brings true, abundant life. And I’m going to humbly attempt to follow suit of my Jesus, and boldly and meekly pray that you, too, would recognize your own voice as one amongst the scoffers the day Jesus was crucified. We might not have been there on that day, but we go to that place of denying Him and choosing ourselves all of the time.
I pray that in this Lenten season you would dig deep into some of the dark and hard spots that aren’t fun or particularly easy to visit, and you would recognize your (my) place in the story. But the sweetest news, my friends, is that this is not who Jesus sees us as. He doesn’t see us as ugly betrayers. He sees us as beautiful, pure, radiant Sons and Daughters. We are His. And that makes us shine.