Have you ever gone through the deep waters of pain, hurt, or betrayal alone as a result of an unforeseen offense caused by a loved one or presumed ally? The direct offense, ushers in waves of feelings and emotional pain that can be unbearable and incapacitating. You wonder “will I ever be myself again and made whole,” but that answer is to far down the road, so you wake up and go throughout the day putting on a mask, pretending to be joyous and “happy in Jesus,” but you know you’re not. There is good news… YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Often times we look at Palm Sunday as a day of rejoicing. A quick read of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem paints a picture that the entire region was in love with Jesus and thrilled He had finally arrived. However, most attendees that day screaming and shouting did not understand what kind of King Jesus really was. As a Jew that day, you would see Jesus’ arrival as an answer to prayer, for a great political and military leader who would free you from the tyranny of Roman rule. You welcomed Jesus for what he was going to do for you and your people on a social, economic, and political level that no one had been able to do. This Jesus, this King, would finally put these Romans in their place. The prophesied King was now making his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem riding a colt layered with cloaks. Men, women, and children joyously lining the dirt road to confirm his welcome by spreading palm branches and cloaks on the ground as they shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest.” It seemed like such a celebration, but I can’t help but imagine how Jesus felt at this moment.
Jesus was going through a deep trial alone!! Jesus, though currently being praised, knows that many of the people praising him will soon be mocking him. He knows this entrance into Jerusalem is the road to his crucifixion. In the next few days Judas would betray him, Peter would deny him, he would be unfairly arrested, mocked, scorned, spit on, punched, beaten with reeds, and crucified. Even His heavenly Father would forsake Him. Jesus’ anguish is captured in John 12:27 when He says:
“Now my soul is troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”
We see Jesus’ pain so clearly, but we also see His reason in suffering. So what kept Jesus going through his deepest trial? He had a greater purpose! His purpose is revealed to us in Matthew 1:21:
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Jesus did suffer, he was beaten, he was crucified unfairly, but it was part of a beautiful plan. Jesus could endure the cross because it would accomplish salvation for His people. Just like Jesus had a reason in his suffering, there is a greater purpose for your suffering. Seek Christ in your suffering and you will not be alone! Let this be an encouragement to you. Endure! Persevere!
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Next time you feel you are suffering alone, your trial will never end, you are overcome with pain, discouragement and unrest, remember, you are not alone! Don’t misunderstand Jesus, as many did and still do, Jesus Christ came to deliver you from your sin, sanctify you through your trials, and bring you perfectly holy and sinless into His eternal rest! Rejoice, celebrate, He is with you, understands your anguish, and will never leave or forsake you. Please take a few minutes to pray through the following verse. It is filled with such power. You are not alone.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2