Holy Week Devotional | Day 5

548718_10151091653039149_113692115_n"Preparation For Coronation" by Yvonne Heller Imagine that tomorrow you were to be publicly humiliated, tortured and executed, all for a crime you did not commit? How would that inevitable reality change your countenance, focus, and your interactions with others? How would you prepare? Today, we explore how Jesus walked, fully human and fully God, through this very experience.

On the eve of His coronation and crucifixion, we read in Mark 14:17-26 about Jesus and His disciples at what is known as the Last Supper. This was Jesus’ final celebration of Passover with His disciples. Passover was a time in which the story of God, freeing His people from slavery in Egypt, was celebrated. But it was also at this meal that Jesus more intentionally revealed that He was going to be betrayed, while still maintaining authority over His betrayal.

They were reclining at the table celebrating Passover where they broke bread, drank wine, sang hymns and gave thanks. They shared Scripture, asked questions, agonized, worried and wondered. It was in this moment, and during this setting that Jesus revealed the series of events that would occur in His final hours, including the details of His denial and betrayal. Jesus, not out of anger, but in a mix of sorrow and celebration, broke bread as a symbol of His body, poured wine as a symbol of His blood, and spoke of a covenant poured out for many. With tension and confusion in the minds and hearts of His disciples, He continually spoke of the kingdom of God.

After dinner, He went out to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Mark 14:32-41). Away from everyone, He prayed alone with only His Heavenly Father present. As much as He knew what was about to happen to Him, He was still filled with sorrow and was distressed over it. He asked again and again if God would spare Him. But He also repeatedly prayed for God’s will to be done, not His own.

While we can look at the Last Supper as a model for fellowship in community and Jesus’ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane as a model for solitude, we can also look at these both as models of perfect humility and dependence on God.

Inasmuch as His impending crucifixion could have been all about Him being a victim and the suffering He would endure, Jesus took the completely opposite approach. He was absolutely and completely humble in every way. In community at the table when His disciples worried, He comforted them and reminded them of the kingdom of God more than once. He also continued to give thanks to God, despite the fact that He personally was about to sacrifice His own life and take upon Himself, the world’s shame and punishment.

In the garden, in solitude, He expressed His sorrow, agony, and even questioned God. But in the end, each time He prayed, he laid it all down, trusting His heavenly Father by asking that God’s will be done, not His own.

How does Jesus’ perfect humility, proper perspective, connectedness to God, and encouragement to those around Him during some of the most intense hours of His life, display how to walk with God through a trial? How do Jesus’ actions in this story influence the way that we respond to trials in our story? The troubles may be big, but we, through Christ and the power of His Spirit, can experience a connectedness to God and a posture of humility even in the midst of those trials.

Let us pray…

Heavenly Father, as we move toward and through trials in our own lives, where we might feel victimized or are overwhelmed by grief or sorrow, help us to lift our eyes and look to your Son, Jesus, as our perfect example of humility and dependence on You.