Happy Saturday, Friends,
“I’m pressing the reset button this week. I know I need to. I have been so restless these past few weeks. I know I need a good spiritual and personal refresh. Just to be able to spend time with You. Just You and me.”
That is what I wrote on the first day of my Holy Week retreat. I had gotten to the retreat center about 2 hours early and was “forced” to just think about what I hoped for on this retreat. I needed peace. I needed to reset. Not just myself, but my relationship with God. I went into the week with that phrase in my mind: Just You and me.
Man, did Jesus deliver. Doesn’t He always, though?
Jesus works in mysterious ways. I realized this, on that first day. Under no other circumstances would I be sitting alone in a shabby, 70’s style room in Detroit. Under no other circumstances would I sign up to spend 5 days in the city where no one walks. Under no other circumstances would silence sound like a good idea.
But somehow Christ makes it all perfectly okay.
Christ calls us out of our comfort zones. Christ leads us through the storm. Christ encourages us. Christ calls people to do crazy things, amazing things. And Christ calls us to a very deep radical trust in Him, a trust that we would put in no other person. But with Christ, it all makes sense.
When the apostles walked to the garden on Holy Thursday night, they didn’t know what was going to happen next. They had no idea what was coming in the next 24 hours. So, naturally, one could imagine they might have been a little scared, worried, when everything started to fall apart.
It made no sense for them to continue with the Lord. It seemed like everyone was falling away from Him. And really, they were. Left and right, they were forgetting about Him, walking away from the struggle. Even those men who had spend the past three years living and breathing with Him, fell away.
I’m sure many of them felt an overwhelming feeling that all their hopes and dreams had died. Christ, the supposed Son of God, was being led away to be crucified like a criminal. Can you imagine how confused they must have been??
And if we stop at the crucifixion, Christianity doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for any level-headed person. We might even understand what the apostles were thinking about.
But Christianity doesn’t stop at the cross. No, that’s just the beginning.
On this retreat, I learned that Christ’s love goes so far beyond the cross. He came to this earth to conquer death. He came to call sinners, not just the inherently righteous. He didn’t come to cover our sins, He came to erase them, to leave us stainless. And He loves us so much.
Good Friday is the proof of His love for us. Easter is like the cherry-on-top. But we can’t have Easter unless we go through Good Friday. And let me tell you, it is so worth it.
I pray that you will sit with the Lord’s love this Easter season. Tomorrow ends this eight-day octave of Easter, but Easter can stretch to the whole year. As Pope John Paul said so eloquently,
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair; We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song.”
Have a beautiful day!!