Good Friday is quickly approaching. Always an incredible day to sit and reflect on what happened that day over two thousand years ago. A jaw dropping journey that still stirs our hearts in wonder as we process our feelings of inadequacy asking ourselves, ‘How can it be?’
A recent family hike led my mind to the story of Christ’s crucifixion, and His path to the cross. As we hiked we stumbled across what at first glance appeared to me, naturally carved steps that piqued my curiosity in their appearance to lead nowhere. Looking ahead, drawing closer, and surveying what lay around us identified that there was more to this seemingly natural staircase that met the eye, they were indeed steps that were hand carved purposed to lead a person to higher – much safer ground. I couldn’t help but think at that moment about the path to redemption that Jesus carved out for us, and how its encounter at the cross appeared to His disciples to lead to an unexpected end, much the same as that path we stumbled across.
Can you imagine the thoughts of the disciples at that moment when Jesus drew in his last breath? Can you imagine the state of confusion they must have been in? The disciples heard Jesus say, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ They were there when he told them, ‘The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day,’ (Mark 9:31) ‘But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.’ (Mark 9:32) I cannot imagine the state of shock they must have felt as they witnessed His horrific death. They did not expect things to go this way. Their hearts must have been broken, as they mourned the loss of what they thought would be, grieved what actually was, and were afraid of what was to come.
We all find ourselves processing these same feelings as we experience life. We make up in our mind a plan, and set expectations, and when God’s plan veers in a different direction we mourn the loss of what we thought, grieve what actually is, and are afraid of what is to come. But just as the path to the cross didn’t end there…the path we are on if we trust in God doesn’t stop in the place we feel leads nowhere, and just as He told His disciples what was to come, He has told us what is to come, and just as those disciples experienced confusion over what those words meant, we experience that same confusion, BUT just as God came through in His promise to rise that temple in three days – He promises us to a path that leads to a goodness that we cannot fathom.
I encourage you today, if you feel like you’re at a dead end – press on. Believe whole heartedly in the words which He has spoken. If you are confused, pray. Pray that He will open your mind, and clear those thoughts of confusion. Know without a doubt that the blood He shed on Calvary so many years ago is still working, and redemption is still found by sitting at His feet and trusting His plan. As you think of the cross, and Jesus’ victory over death – allow confidence to swell within you knowing that our Redeemer lives. Death could not hold Him down, if He can conquer that, which He did – He will conquer the battle your facing. He is alive and at work, and He stands available to you right now. You just have to – Choose Him.