“Then everyone deserted him and fled.” Mark 14:50
When I had my first child I decided not to have an epidural. It isn’t that I have a high pain threshold (I’m a total wimp when it comes to pain) or that I’m a natural, tree-hugging, granola type. It was just I was afraid something might happen to my baby if I did so I opted to suffer through. And suffer I did.
I remember at one point in my labor, my poor husband having to use the restroom. I begged him not to. Even though the bathroom was five feet away, I knew where he was going and that he’d be right back, in my most frightening, pain-filled and anxious moment I didn’t want to be alone.
On this week leading up to Good Friday and Easter, I’d like to avoid thinking about Friday and get right to Sunday. There is a reason my favorite movie is Ferris Buellar’s Day Off (and not The Notebook). I don’t like to be cry or be sad, especially if I don’t have to. I don’t want to think about Jesus being hit in the head, spit on, made fun of and being nailed to a cross and I certainly don’t want to dwell on the fact it happened because of and for me. And if all of that isn’t bad enough, to think about Jesus being completely, utterly and entirely alone in his most frightening, pain-filled and anxious moment? Why would I choose to think about Friday?
But I was convicted yesterday to go there. To remember. To comb through the gospel accounts of what Jesus went through this week even though it is awful, sad and I don’t have to. I was convicted to gratefully choose to remember Easter cost Jesus. And in the passage I read this morning, I was reminded of the terrible, awful feeling of being alone in the delivery room for two minutes without Chris and it made my heart ache to think of Jesus alone in the garden. Answering to Pilate. Being beaten. Hanging naked on a cross…alone.
The main reason I love Jesus so much is the freedom He has afforded me. My faith in Christ has helped gradually liberate me from the crippling stronghold of almost constant fear and anxiety in my life. Isaiah 53:5 that “the punishment that brought us peace, was upon him.” Do I want to walk with Jesus this week en route to Friday? No, but I will because I need to be reminded that my peace-filled, transformed life cost something. I need to be reminded Jesus was fully man and fully God and being fully man meant he didn’t want to be suffer, die or be alone. Being fully man meant nails, words and betrayal hurt.
Choosing to be reminded of Friday isn’t easy, fun or desirable, but it is powerful and humbling and Sunday wouldn’t have happened without Friday. Choosing to be reminded that my sins cost Jesus is really just being reminded of His passionate, unconditional and courageous love for me.
#holyweek #thankyouJesus #ivebeensetfree