This week we will be focusing on the Stations of the Cross, the series of events on Jesus’ last day leading up to His crucifixion. Depictions of these events can often be found in the form of paintings or carvings in churches or cathedrals. Of the twelve stations known, we will focus on the eight mentioned in the Bible, focusing on the meaning of the cross.
“Even though I am torn within, and my soul is in turmoil, I will not ask the Father to rescue me from this hour of trial. For I have come to fulfill my purpose —to offer myself to God.
Jesus accepts His cross.
It was no surprise to Jesus that He would endure crucifixion on the cross. He prepared His followers with teachings. He showed love to His disciples by washing their feet and comfort by promising to never leave them. He predicted who would betray Him. He warned the disciples of future events to come. Ultimately, He knew God’s will for Him.
He knew His purpose. But that did not make the suffering any easier. In His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed to His Father, “My Father, if there is any way you can deliver me from this suffering, please take it from me. He prayed again, “My Father, if there is not a way that you can deliver me from this suffering, then your will must be done”. In Luke’s account, He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
In our lives we suffer from many trials. Although Jesus said, in the book of John, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble”, it does not make the trial seem any easier to go through, does it? However, there is more to Jesus’ prayer to His father. He goes on to say, “Yet what I want is not important, for I only desire to fulfill your plan for me.” Jesus accepted God’s will for Him. What He desired in that moment would not be taken from Him.
Similarly, sometimes our trials will not be taken from us. When we look again at the verse above from the book of John, when He tells us we will have trouble Jesus goes on to say, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In the end God wins and we will no longer suffer. Perhaps that gives us more comfort in our trials, but most of us desire something tangible to ease the pain. For that we look to what happened after Jesus prayed to His father, “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him”.
Jesus prayed to His father and received strength to endure His cross. We have that same peace and strength gifted to us by Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit. He has promised to be with us every day until the very end. When you experience trials, accept this gift from Him realizing He does understand and pray continually for the supernatural peace that comes from God.
Ref: Matthew 16:33, Matthew 26:39, 42, Matthew 28:20; Luke 22:44, John 16:33