Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God…. (John 13:3)
Judas was scheming to betray his friend. The high priest and his minions were inciting the crowds. The people were wildly swinging from adulation to condemnation. The Romans were trying to outflank the threats of the religious authorities. The disciples were scurrying around trying to discern the gossip on the streets.
Although it may have appeared that things were falling apart, they weren’t. And although it seemed like everyone was losing their bearings, there was one who wasn’t.
During Holy Week for the last 40 years, I’ve read the gospel narratives of Jesus’ last week. Even though I know the story pretty well, I’m always amazed and astounded by Jesus’ focus, calm, and resolve. The ballast in His soul keeps Him steady, strong, and resolute, no matter what chaos was swirling around Him.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been in touch with many people as they deal with COVID-19. Some are so afraid they can’t sleep. Some are so overwhelmed they don’t want to wake up. Some are dealing with their stress by indulging in things that give only temporary relief and much discomfort the next morning. Some have been losing themselves in media bingeing. And some have been—mostly—sensible, responsible, mindful, careful, and faithful. And some, of course, have been all of the above.
During this Holy Week, my hope is that we would lean into Jesus, stand upon the promises of our faith, and rest in His presence. My prayer is that Jesus will give us the strength to face this epidemic and all the ensuring challenges with the same peace in which He faced His final days in Jerusalem. When we’re weak, may He make us strong. When we’re feeling lost, may He show us that we’re at home with Him. When we’re afraid, may He give us courage. When we can’t still our anxious hearts and our frantic minds, may He give us peace.
Although it may feel like so many things are falling apart, they need not with Jesus at our side. And although it may sometimes seem like we are losing our wits and bearings, we can hope and trust that the One who never flinched during His final days will keep us strong.
What gave Jesus His strength? Today’s scripture tells us. He knew that the Father had given Him all He needed, and that He had come from God and was going to God.
What can keep us strong during this time? When we trust in all that Jesus knew. We come from God. We are going to God. We can trust that Jesus will give everything we need into our hands when we lay ourselves into His.
- How have you been dealing with this challenging time?
- What are you hoping for and hoping in right now?
- As you cope during this epidemic, what makes you half-crazy and what gives you peace? What would help you to do less of the former and more of the latter?