Today's Word of Encouragement
FATHER, GLORIFY YOUR NAME
Monday, April 06, 2020
"Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name" (John 12:27-28).
According to health officials, the next 2-3 weeks will be the most difficult period in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. In speaking with my brother David, HyLond residents are now confined to their rooms. The general population has been instructed to wear breathing masks any time we are out of our homes. Law enforcement is getting serious about cracking down on violators who keep their ‘nonessential businesses’ open and those who continue to meet in groups larger than 5-10 people. These are strange and difficult times we are living in, times that most of us have only read about in the history books. What do we do now?
This week is Passion Week (well, really it began last Friday). It was the week when Jesus arrived in Bethany (2 miles from Jerusalem) on Friday, spent the Sabbath with His friends (Lazarus, Mary, and Martha) on Saturday, and rode into Jerusalem on Sunday. On Monday (which would be today), Jesus cursed the barren fig tree, cleared the Temple courtyard (for a 2nd time), met with those Greeks who wanted to see Him, and was openly rejected as Messiah by the people (Matthew 21:12-19; Mark 11:12-18; Luke 19:45-48; John 12:20-43).
In meeting with the Greeks Jesus said, "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name". Certainly His ‘trouble’ in facing the cross was far more critical and horrific than ours. But we are troubled today, and rightly so, because many people have died, and many more will die as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the thing that ‘troubled’ Jesus more than the prospect of death on the cross, was His being abandoned by the Father while on the cross. I, nor anyone else, can explain or express the horror that gripped Jesus when He thought of the Father turning away from Him because He became sin, our sin, on that cross so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We know the devastating effects of personal sin. But because of Jesus we will never know the horror of being rejected by God the Father and abandoned to an eternity separated from Him. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).
During this Passion Week, as you are confined to your residence, walk with Jesus down the road that led to your salvation. Try to put your feet in His sandals. Hear through His ears. See through His eyes. Try to understand His heart and mind. Our time of trouble can be the most rewarding time in our spiritual lives as we walk with Jesus – to the glory of God.