Mourning into Joy | Holy Saturday: Silent Prelude | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 8 of 10

By the time Jesus was crucified, His innocence was evident. The witness at the Cross exclaimed, indeed He was truly the son of God. While the fervent accusers, shook in remorse, and went home only to escape the unpleasant sight. At a distance, the women patrons of Jesus stood, afraid – weeping from afar. But amidst all this, I am not sure why the whereabouts of Jesus’ disciples aren’t mentioned. Whatever the reason may be – I can attest one thing for sure – they were all caught in a grip of fear and uncertainty.

I suppose, the day between the death and resurrection must be a cold – silent one. I imagine the disciples mourning over their guilt; having rejected Christ. I believe at this point they knew Jesus was Christ, the Messiah – whom they had completely overlooked for a worldly king. These are all my minuscule, and perhaps worthless speculations of what events must have painted this particular day. But I know one thing for sure – I know how guilt feels – I know how it feels to be cold, and lonely – to feel like you’ve driven yourself too far away from God. And although, this is an awful experience… it also means two things. One, the silence never lasts. And two, there is always a dawn of immeasurable joy awaiting. The Apostle Paul wrote:

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Cor 4:17, NLT)

Yes. The day before the resurrection must have been awful for the disciples. But that lasted only a day. Yet on the other hand, the glory that Christ revealed on the next day – will now last forever. I believe, the only reason why the scriptures seem to suggest, the disciples receding into fear is to encourage us. God knows that his later generations of followers like you and me will also face such unfortunate days. So, when that day comes, we now not only have teachings on why to persist, but also a reasonably documented event as an example, as to why we should persist.

Dear readers, I understand there are many times when our guilt overpower us. When we hate ourselves, and believe we are unworthy of any kind of love and care. But I want to encourage you, reminding you of the disciples’ darkest days, that we should use these moments to grow stronger in faith. Because God is faithful. He will never leave you nor forsake you. And most probably, the silent – guilt-ridden days might just be a prelude, to a dawn of glorious eternal life. To God be the Glory.


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic (6) Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me (7) Good Friday: I Find No Fault in this Man

Mourning into Joy | Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 6 of 10

Various monumental events mark this day, and various important teachings. But I want to focus on only one thing here today, i.e. Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. To me, nothing demonstrates His truly human nature as here.

We often forget, or perhaps, I often forget, how true Jesus was to His human nature. He suffered every desire, pain, joy and pleasure as a man would. And in Gethsemane, we find Jesus battling a great sense of agony – as a man about to take the full force of God’s wrath. Facing judgement of any kind, as a guilty man is worst enough; have you ever wondered how it might have felt to face the same judgement as an innocent man?! But that was what Jesus did. We find in the account of the Apostles that Christ prayed twice. First, He pleads for the cup to be taken away. But the second time he pleads for the cup, He also accepts it as the will of God. Between these two prayers lie, the fear and anguish of a God who was truly human. He wrestled with His fears like an ordinary man would. But thank goodness, He overcame His fears with a perfect obedience – truly as God would. The Book of Hebrews therefore confirms:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (4:15, ESV)

A lot many people will focus on the teachings of the Upper room today, and on the institution of the Lord’s Table. And perhaps, they should. Because it was during this period that Christ instituted the new law – love one another: just as I have loved you. (John 13:34) But Jesus was not just any other new age guru of enlightenment. So, to me this teaching will always feel incomplete; if we do not remind ourselves, intimately how Jesus demonstrated His love for you and me, suffered like you and me (would) and ultimately died in our stead. Jesus, truly lived as He preached, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13, NLT) And what a great comfort that is to know that Christ knows all our sufferings. He is never far. Even now, the scripture says, He pleads our case to the Father. (Rom 8:34)

Dear readers, the cross we are called to bear is not one where we are pinned to it. We are called to the cross to crucify our sins. Christ said, my yoke is easy and light, and it grants rest and understanding. (Matt 11:28-30) Let us take comfort in the Christ who prayed with perfect reverence and YHWH answered. (Heb 5:7) This is the same Christ, who suffered like a man in our stead. And most importantly, this is the same Christ who continues to plead for us. You and I can fail. But He cannot. And it is because He did not fail, we will also not fail. His grace endures. Dear reader, I don’t know who you are and what your story is. But I want to tell you, Christ knows. He knows you. He knows your wants and needs, your sufferings, your joy, your failure, your problems, your guilt, your sorrows… I want to tell you Christ has already bore that cross of condemnation. I want to tell you dear reader, you belong to Christ. And a life of sin does not belong to you. Embrace holiness today. Embrace grace. Embrace love. To God be the Glory.


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic

Mourning into Joy | Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 5 of 10

Two events mark this day. One, Mary breaks an expensive alabaster jar at Jesus’ feet. And two, Judas conspires to betray Jesus. The later one is apparently where the term spy Wednesday finds its name. But that’s not our concern here. What’s interesting is that, both these events underline one problem – superimposing our logic on God.

There are certainly, many instances in our lives when we think a church could better use her resources. Say, why waste money on rituals when we can use it to do far more charitable work?! Judas, apparently thought the same. In fact, if we refer the biblical past, all men whom God has treated unfavorably has always thought logically. Cain, I believe, was a man of science. He grew great vegetation with great precision. Saul was logical. He thought logistically and strategically, that it was better he offered the sacrifices himself, to keep the morale of his army intact. All these men had their reasons, and in accordance to our earthly understandings, they were all logical. Judas’ objection over Mary wasting an alabaster jar was also (actually) logically sound. Instead of wasting it on Jesus’ feet, which were bound to get dirty again – he opined, it could feed a starving family. But this worldly mindedness is exactly what Christ objected; that is not what God wants.

Because, we were/are called to live our lives depending on God’s grace and not on worldly wisdom. (1 Cor 1:12) Because worldliness harbors passions that is ungodly, it is selfish, troublesome, and filled with animosity. And most importantly, it leads to sin and death. (James 4:1-12) Hence, in the light of the scripture, Judas’ objection was ultimately wrong. Later we find that his concerns were never even for the poor. He had always had a conceited heart when it comes to money. And being tempted by of his own desires, his life ended tragically. The same, unfortunately, is true for you and me. The Apostle James wrote:

“But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires, he is lured away and enticed.” (James 1:14, BSB)

Dear readers, it is important as Christians to understand that the heart is deceitful above all things. (Jer 17:9) And worldly-mindedness equates death. (Rom 8:6) We are never in the position of making a sound judgement on our own – over what is, and what life could be. But God is our creator and He knows best. And it is His desire that we live according to His will – according to the ways of His Kingdom. It is in His will that we desire heaven over earth; like Mary’s mind was set on Christ, while Judas on worldly matters. Let us therefore, continue to persevere in His grace, trusting and obeying Him for our good. For as the Apostle Paul wrote, God’s grace is enough to train us into renouncing worldliness and into embracing holiness. (Titus 2:11-12) To God be the Glory.  


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is

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