Reflections on the night before Good Friday:
Christians all over the world like to celebrate two important parts of the Journey of Christ to the Cross. On Thursday, we celebrate the “Last Supper” and “the washing of the feet.” Both super important and extremely ritualized in the Christian tradition.
But I think the most important part of Holy Thursday, is when Jesus showed us His humanity. It is when Jesus showed us fear and vulnerability, and gave us permission to say, “I’m scared. I don’t want to do this God. Are you sure this is what I have to do? I’ll do it if You say I have to but I really don’t want to do it.” Repeatedly. Three times to be exact.
I find there are usually two extreme views of Jesus: Jesus, The Divine or Jesus, The Sufferer. Sometimes they go together but what I believe is the most important quality of Jesus, the Son of God, was his humanness. I like, Jesus, the Human.
It fills me with awe and wonder that:
Jesus looked at the same stars from the angle on earth that we do. Jesus drank water.
Jesus had a mother who breastfed him as a baby.
Jesus had to deal with church folks who wanted to trick him by using scripture.
Jesus was tempted by Satan.
Jesus was frustrated.
Jesus had friends.
Jesus had enemies.
Jesus had haters in his hometown.
And, one of my favorite part of Jesus, is that He had doubts and fears. Tomorrow, the story of His crucifixion will be on full display. The trail, the walk of shame, the nails, the ministry on the cross to the other criminals, the entire legal process that killed Jesus will be highlighted. Some Christians will focus on the pain he endured. Other Christians will focus on the role of the church. A few Christians will draw comparisons between the Roman Government and the US Government and the irony of our Christian nation having a Death Penalty while mourning our Lord and Savior who died via a government sanctioned Death Penalty. All of those are important and make excellent Easter Sermons for people to reflect on the impact of Good Friday and the obligations it requires of followers of Christ.
But tonight, I celebrate and reflect on something else entirely. I reflect on Jesus humanness. I feel closest to Jesus Thursday night because when He had this experience where he was scared and didn’t want to do it, He begged God for mercy. Because I get scared all the time! I am scared and don’t want to do things that God wants me to do. I was very clear that God wanted me to have Maya but I knew the pain, suffering, and turmoil it would cause my family. But I did it anyways. It sucked, it was painful and I suffered, but it was God’s will for me so I did it in spite of my fears. And to know that Jesus had the same feelings that I had, fear and apprehension, makes me feel so much closer to Him! I am so grateful for Jesus’ divineness, Jesus suffering, but, most importantly, I am grateful for Jesus’ humanness.
Love to you all on this Holy weekend. May we take our fears to God our Father, just like Jesus, and be obedient to God’s will and plan for our lives.
“Then He said to them, “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:38–39