Greetings! Today I am in Spokane, Washington with a group of 50 high schoolers from PCPC. We’ll spend the week running two Vacation Bible Schools (one from a church and one from a homeless shelter) as well as painting a house for unwed mothers, serving meals at a local homeless shelter, and spending time with refugees. Please keep this group in your prayers this week!
This week’s chapter transitions into the last days of Jesus’ life. Onto the chapter!
The Hour of Darkness
Jesus came to earth knowing that he was going to die. Jesus was fully aware that his revolutionary teachings combined with his miraculous healings would result in his death.
Yet Jesus came anyway.
This part of Jesus’ story is hard to read. An innocent man should not have to die. Yet Jesus came in order to teach and save; regardless of the consequences.
There are a couple of things that I’ve learned from this story.
1. Jesus prepared his disciples for his departure.
Jesus knew that he would not be on earth forever. Therefore, he was constantly teaching his disciples how to continue building the kingdom of God after he left. During the Passover meal, Jesus gave one of his last teachings by washing his disciple’s feet.
“Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”
We are asked to continue the ministry of Jesus. In fact, Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to aide us in this task. God has not left us alone. Every one of us is uniquely gifted by God to contribute to this ministry.
A part of our Christian vocation is determining how we can assist in continuing Jesus’ ministry.
2. Jesus put the desires of God above his own fears.
“Yet not as I will, but as you will.” This is a statement to live by. It could become your life verse.
Jesus’ last hours were an example of following God’s initiative even when he was terrified of what would come next.
Several times Jesus asked for God to take this cup from him. Jesus did not want to undergo pain and suffering anymore than we do. Yet this was not God’s will, and so Jesus chose to drink the cup that was in front of him.
There are times in life when we know what God wants us to do, but we are fearful of doing it. Rarely will our situation be as intense as what Jesus encountered. However, there will be many times in our lives when we face a choice. Jesus gives us the example of choosing God’s will above our own desires or fears.
Now its your turn! Here are some questions to think about. Feel free to provide your answer to one of these questions in the comment section.
- When have you had to put into action Jesus’ words of “Yet not as I will, but as you will”?
- What gifts has God given you to use in the building of the kingdom of God?