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In a disturbing yet ironic way, this past week has been one of the most challenging and heartbreaking times. Crying on the floor, pouring out my heart through pen and paper while worshipping the Father, and agonizing painful circumstances, it came to my attention that this week was a difficult one for everyone.

For some odd reason, every person I talked to was losing hope. Their fear of the COVID-19 pandemic was rising. Anxiety and depression were uncontrollable—friendships and relationships broken beyond repair. Jealousy, anger, bitter words, pride, selfishness, and anguish filled the view of conversations we had wished were left unsaid. Unplanned situations of overwhelming distress filled the air. Rain was in the forecast nightly as if it were mocking our sorrowed estates.

But you know what? Even amid these struggles, peace, joy, love, and overwhelming joy were still possible because someone else had the most excruciating and desolating week ever to be known to humanity. 

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ started His last week on Earth with a humble, yet triumphant entry into the streets of Jerusalem. Shouting, “Hosanna and Glory to God in the Highest,” I envision the crowds. I see their excitement to serve a new King and shudder knowing that in the fall of the night, they would shout “Crucify the King of the Jews” with lanterns and pitchforks raised in tyranny (Matthew 21:1, Mark 11:1, Luke 19:29, John 12:12). 

Early the next day, I hear the Pharisees ridicule, mock, and question Jesus as He drives out those buying and selling in His holy Temple. “Who does this man think He is?” the crowds begin to inquire, quickly forgetting He was the man they once laid their robes down for Him to walk on. Weeping over Jerusalem’s fallen state, I foresee the crowds laughing at His humbleness to care for someone other than Himself (Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:22, Luke 19:45). 

By the third day, I cannot imagine Jesus’ heart, knowing that His Disciples, family, friends, and these crowds would abandon Him. My mind is unable to fathom the betrayal and internal anguish as the entire world, including His own Father, would choose to turn His face on Him. My body shakes in agony at the thought that the pain I feel and have felt on this Earth (both physically and mentally/emotionally), is nothing compared to the immense tragedy inflicted upon my King (Matthew 21:20, Mark 11:20, Luke 20:36, John 12:20). 

In omniscient excellence, my heart aches as I see Jesus praying in silence and preparing for the last meal He would share with His followers. My mind searches to understand how someone could break bread and pour wine, knowing it was symbolic of what would soon happen, and still eat in joy with those who belonged to Him. Through pangs of misery and torture that I cannot illustrate, my stomach lurches at the sight of Judas trading in Jesus for a few silver coins. My body begins to vibrate like a panic attack; for behold, Jesus is extending a piece of bread dipped in wine to the one responsible for His very arrest and crucifixion. A sacred and consecrated representation of Him choosing to be broken and wounded for our benefit (Matthew 26:1, Mark 14:1, Luke 22:1). 

Asking His Father to, “Take away the cup of wrath, but above all, His will be done,” I am in disbelief of His courageous humility. I look over the teardrops of blood fallen on the ground where He once prayed and asked us to stay awake in prayer, for, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

I feel the ground shake as the most powerful man in the world refuses to speak blasphemy against those who are accusing Him of the very act. My heart winces as the people trade Him in for Barabbas, and Peter’s mocking voice declares, “I never knew Him.” The sinfulness that I know I possess reaches for anything to cling to so that I don’t feel like the perpetrator yelling, “Crucify Him,” though I know deep down that I too am one of those who chose to nail Him to the cross. 

I do not comprehend the words He declares from the cross; “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” I cannot see His mouth move when He yells, “It is finished,” for the sight is too gruesome to endure for any longer. My mind begins to race as a soldier pierces His side, and the largest crack of lightning thunders the sky as the veil of the Temple is torn into two pieces. I want to help as Joseph of Arimathea buries His body in the tomb, but I am fearful of what will become of me if I do (Matthew 26:1, Mark 14:53, Luke 22:54, John 18:13).

Sealing the tomb for extra protection, I see Pilate bow to the Jewish leaders just one more time. Now in their fear that maybe this was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I catch a glimpse of their eyes from the bushes (Matthew 27:66). In my disbelief, I almost fall off the path when I see what looks like Jesus appear to Mary Magdalene, some other women, two Disciples on the way to Emmaus, Simon Peter, and a crowd of additional Disciples not included in the original two. Dumbfounded in regret, my mind blacks out at the minute second I see Him, for He is already gone (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1, John 20:1). 

Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, had the worst week in His entire life this week, but unlike us, He responded in gentleness, humility, humbleness, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love. I find it no coincidence, however, that like this unnamed character, we too may have had a terrible week, but it was nothing in comparison to the tragedy Jesus suffered. We lament at the words said, and tones accusingly used, mourning over the little Christ we should’ve represented to the world but didn’t. 

We are all Judas’ kiss, Peter’s denial, and the Disciples’ fear. Some of us are Mary’s tears, the women’s cries, or the criminal hanging on the cross with Jesus asking for Him to “remember me in paradise”. Yet others are the soldiers whipping Him, the officials denying Him, the crowds turning our backs on Him, the other offenders mocking Him from their crucifixions. 

Because for some odd reason, when Jesus faced His most difficult hour, He didn’t lose hope but possessed and became it. He didn’t run away from the future predestined for Him, He ran towards it with open arms. Hanging from the cross with arms stretched wide, He didn’t cry for His pain, but for the sinfulness of ours

This Easter put yourself in Jesus’ path. Imagine walking down the road that He did. Although you, too, may have had a bad day, week, month, or year, remember that even in His most miserable state, God still acted in profound modesty that He wishes for each of us to have. We know the end of the story. We don’t have to live in regret that’s too late to seek, find, and follow Him. 

Isaiah 55:6 remarks, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;” (Isaiah 55:6, ESV). 

Sunday is coming, friends and I’m ready. Are you?