“…and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus,” ~1 Timothy 1:14
© 2016 Lynn Abbott
What a difference a week makes! On Sunday, rejoicing crowds welcomed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem.
Yet, during Passover, a week that symbolically pointed to Christ, the Passover Lamb whose blood marked the doorposts of homes saved from God’s judgment, Jesus spoke of His sacrificial and substitutionary death, (John 13: 27-33).
His words did not match the people’s expectations. And their grumbling began. Those who opposed Christ seized every opportunity to undermine His claims.
Continual criticism took its toll.
Judas, one of the twelve Jesus entrusted with His teaching and heart, turned against the Savior. Yeah, that’s right. Judas embodied the fickle nature of the people. Disappointed that Christ had not overthrown Rome, a disillusioned Judas led the Roman guard and Jewish officers to Christ in Gethsemane.
There, in that quiet sanctuary after hours of prayer, Christ was betrayed.
And the turn in the road was complete.
Jesus had predicted the shift that loomed on the horizon: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends,’”(John 15:13).
Thus, our Savior carried the instrument of torture and death–the cross–down the streets of Jerusalem. Ironically, just five days had passed since His triumphal Palm Sunday entry.
All seemed dark that Friday afternoon before the Passover Seder.
Christ, the lamb of God, sacrificed His life on the cross. It seemed a hopeless business.
Does He understand the pain of rejection? Does He know how you or I feel when someone back-stabs or betrays us?
Yes. A thousand times over.
As the writer of the book of Hebrews says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin…” (Hebrews 4:15).
And that Passover Friday was dark. Oh so dark.
But Sunday was coming…