Today is Monday of Holy Week; a time to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross. A journey that did not end in death, but in resurrected life, a triumph over the grave, eternal victory. We know and rejoice in how the story ends, but why the in-between? Why the pain and suffering? Why the seeming hopelessness?
I don’t know about you, but there have been many times in my life when I have been able to say, “God, you are good. God, I trust you. But why in the world did THAT have to happen??” Have you ever felt that way? You may know in the depths of your soul that God is loving, compassionate, holy and pure. You believe in the truth of Romans 8:28 and you have seen God work all things together for good. But…
Could that be what the disciples and Jesus were thinking as they approached Holy Week? On Monday, Jesus entered the temple and let it be known how he felt about the atrocities that were occurring in his Father’s house. The holy temple that was intended for worship and reverence was being used as a market to increase the wealth of sinful human beings. Jesus was done! Why did something so despicable have to occur as Jesus was pondering the path to the cross?
I struggle at times with the words in Isaiah 55. Starting in verse 8 it says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Why would a holy, perfect God, allow his son to humble himself to become obedient to the point of death on a cross? Why the pain? Why the suffering? Why the in-between?
What are you facing today that seems pointless or hopeless? Is your heart in anguish or despair? Are you crying out to God every day for help; longing for healing or even just the answer to the “why”?
What we do know is how this story ends. Jesus was brutally beaten and then suffered a painstaking death. Why? Because he loves you and he loves me. He knew the suffering would be intense, but he also knew how the story would end.
We too have the promise of knowing how each of our stories will end. Trials on this earth seem absurd, nauseating and pointless and yet, we know the Victor and we know his character. He has many names: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Resurrected King, Abba. What is your favorite name for the one who offers you hope, peace, healing, and freedom?
As you continue through Holy Week, pick a different name each day on which to dwell. Ask God to show you his character of love, majesty and omniscience. God is good. Even in the in-between.
Director of Counseling & Soul Care