There are times in life we find ourselves completely helpless. We see horror unfolding. We see injustice. We see pain and suffering. Yet, we are powerless to change the course of the events. It is humbling.
HALLELUJAH! God never despises a humble heart!
When Judas kissed Jesus in Gethsemane, the power of sin rolled forward at break-neck speed. Sin often catches us unaware…even though we launch it on its way. By the time we notice, it’s too late. At the meal earlier in the night, Jesus had declared that He was about to be handed over for execution. He plainly stated that one of his trusted disciples would be the betrayer. Every disciple, including Judas, had asked, “I’m not the one am I, Rabbi?” Later, Jesus even told the disciples, “You will all fall away from me.” His words were inconceivable to them. We don’t comprehend our weakness until it stares us in the face.
Jesus understands it. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” While Jesus wrestled before the Father in sorrow, Peter, James and John slept. At His point of greatest need, His closest friends were powerless to help. Only the Father above could give Jesus the help He needed. He poured out His heart with passion…and total trust in His heavenly Father. While flesh fails in the face of grief and horror, surrender to the Father produces eternal victory. “Thy will be done,” are words of faith and power. Jesus was not helpless in the face of horror…He was fixed on the Father’s will.
In fact, Jesus declared that He could ask the Father at any point to save Him…to send Him legions of angels. But love kept Him on mission. Love strengthened Him to walk through horror confident of the Father’s plan. Hebrews tells us ‘for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.’ Because of Jesus, that same focus can be ours.
After the Passover meal, Jesus again poured out His heart to the disciples seeking to prepare them for what was to come. He spoke of the future, of the coming Holy Spirit…of disciples doing greater works than Jesus Himself…of receiving ‘anything that is asked in His name.’ “Don’t let your hearts be troubled,” He encouraged. ‘Abide in my love, obey me.’ Then He said, ‘I tell you all these things, so you can love one another.’
Love is power that removes the helplessness. We see what Love looks like as we watch Jesus in the trial and on the cross. We see what Love most clearly when we are most helpless. On this day of Holy Week, consider:
• When has sin snuck up on you and left you powerless?
• Why is love that is based on the Father’s will so powerful?
• How does our helplessness in COVID-19 increase our understanding of love?