Mark 14: 27-72
Sometimes when I read the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, I think: “Me too.” Some days it seems like nothing goes right, I don’t get even the absolutely essential items on my things-to-do list accomplished, and I feel like the impossible is everyone’s minimum expectation for me. Then I think about what Thursday of Holy Week must have been like for Jesus. That puts even my worst day in perspective. In one twenty-four hour period, Jesus was betrayed by those closest to Him: Judas, Peter who denied even knowing Him, the inner circle of disciples who fell asleep when asked to wait and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His entire band of disciples who scattered rather than standing by Him when He had to face the authorities. He was arrested and condemned by a type of “kangaroo court.” He was ridiculed, spit upon and beaten—all in one day. And He knew that the next day would be even worse. Wow!
When I think about all that Jesus endured, it evokes all kinds of feelings within me—humility, sadness, awe, appreciation… It is not just “when I survey the wondrous cross,” but also when I consider what His Thursday must have been like that I appreciate the enormity of what He suffered for me/us and the immensity of His love. His sacrifice was a different order of magnitude than any misfortune or difficulty I encounter: any sacrifice I’m asked to make.
During this Holy Week and every week, His model of strength and perseverance in the midst of adversity can enlighten and inspire us. The realization that He can and will help us have the same qualities He exhibited can empower us. The enormity of His sacrifice can help us realize and appreciate all that He did for us—how much He loved and continues to love us.
Help me never take Your love for granted. Help me realize and appreciate all that You suffered for me and the incredible enormity of Your love. Help me learn from Your model of strength, perseverance, sacrifice and grace in the midst of adversity. Please empower me to follow Your model.
Excerpted from a Holy Week Devotional Guide written for South Main Baptist Church in 2011