Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Preparation to face the Cross
“….Three days later he will rise.” (V: 34)
In the life of a Christian, Cross is the most reminded form of Lord’s providence. Cross reminds struggle, prayer, salvation and most importantly, Cross reminds eternal fellowship with Lord.
Jesus gives explicit hints about his imminent trial in Gospels. By no means was it easy for Jesus. We learn in scriptures, Jesus was heavy hearted about looming Cross- “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”(Luke 22:42). What’s remarkable here is, son of God’s firm determination to submit for heavenly father’s will.
Preparing and facing the Cross was not easy for son of God and nor it will be easy for we faithful. Jesus facing the Cross has shown us how the will of God prevails and takes completion. Cross is holistic and has many planes ranging from suffering to salvation, for today’s mediation our focus will be verses above. Jesus submitting to the Cross, the father’s will - teaches us many aspects to follow and practice.
Reflecting the Reality: Jesus reflects about his impending death at least 5 times in Gospel. Reflection brings preparation, Jesus prayed and prepared himself. His heart was heavy for many reasons; beyond the physical pain he has to endure, he was indeed pained about his disciples, he was pained about the Roman authorities, soldiers who were instigated by wicked preachers who feared loss of value in society and many who joined the chorus to present him the Cross. When we live in this earthly world, Jesus is reminding us to be mindful of struggles. He also tells us how we should approach the Cross of struggles. The Cross has to be approached in prayer. Reality check on struggle in the right perspective is a good start, bringing it to the table of Lord through prayer and finding peace in God’s will is supreme. Father God in his might will decide whether one should face or be absolved; either has its purpose determined. So prayer brings hope, power to endure and peace.
Obedience in Obstruction: Son of God could have revolted against his father when faced with Cross, could have insisted loving father to avoid the disgrace at Cross. Remember, we are living in a world of protocols; why God the father wanted his only begotten son to go through this ignominy. Is it not an insult to his ultimate authority? Answer is No. Jesus was sent and came to this world determined to win us in multitude, win by fulfilling obedience to father’s will. The true test of our obedience is when we are faced with hindrance. An obstruction can make or break our obedience. Jesus chose to make and win; what we intend to do in our life? When we are hindered by struggles, let prayer to Almighty, obedience to truthful holiness and just be our guidelines.
Patience in Perplex: Was Jesus troubled with elements of uncertainty while praying at the garden of Gethsemane? To some extent yes; but our Lord Jesus was patient in prayer which enabled son of God to remind himself Almighty father’s plan. Jesus knew both, the trouble and triumph. This teaches us an important aspect; we have to be patient and levelheaded when faced with perplexing scenarios in our daily life. If situation demands, we should step back for a moment and compile things rationally. When we are able to do so, anger and less righteous decisions will be out of the frame and we will be able to appreciate virtues in those situation and fellow brethren. This in turn will help fellow beings to detect and appreciate the divine spark in us, which could turn out to winning a life through our Cross for Jesus. Is not that experience and excitement more gratifying?
Prayer: Heavenly father, help us to pray, strengthen us to prepare and enable us to overcome struggles in our lives for your will and glory. Amen.
Thought for the day: Reflect the Cross, Obey the Lord & Pray Righteously.
Monish K. John, Chicago MTC