It’s often said that if there are 10,000 steps between us and God, He will take 9,999 and leave one to us. We’ve spent 40 days allowing Him to move deeper into our hearts, souls, minds and efforts, and during Holy Week, we will respond by taking 1 step toward Him, and enter into something Jesus emulated during the week of His crucifixion
Entering Jesus’ Passion:
For the joy set before Him, Christ endured the cross… Hebrews 12:2
Have you ever experienced such longing for something that it made your bones ache, and in that moment, you knew you would sacrifice everything for it? The meaning of Passion is rooted in the idea of suffering, and those of us who’ve experienced it understand the strange mix of bliss and agony that comes with pursuing that which we are devoted to.
It’s what I imagine Jesus experienced when in Matthew 23, as he looked over the city of Jerusalem saying, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (vs 37) I can hear the yearning and pleading in his tone, and see the way his hands were drawn into fists as he fought back tears, his breath catching in his throat. Yet the writer of Hebrews maintains that relationship with and freedom for this same Jerusalem and all of her inhabitants, extending all the way to us today, was the joy set before Jesus that He would endure the torture of crucifixion. That strange blend of emotion, illustrated by His broken heart pouring out love and gladness at the thought of eternity with us.
Today, we enter in to Jesus’ passion, and allow His example to cultivate that same “yes” to the Father as He calls us to sacrifice for that which He has called us to, knowing that while it may cost us greatly, the joy will be full, complete and incomparable to anything we have experienced before.
What has the Father made you passionate over?
Are you willing to be devoted to this calling, understanding that the Father will unleash a joy in you as you pursue the things of His heart?
Father God, thank you for calling me to a passionate life. Empower me as I dedicate my effort toward what You’ve put in me to accomplish. Give me strength for when I ache as I consider what I’m called to sacrifice and fill me with overflowing joy that I can share with others. Amen.