This weekend I had the opportunity to visit the room where the Last Supper took place, walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, visit Caiaphas’ house and then walk down the Via Dolorosa. To walk in the final footsteps of Jesus before His crucifixion can be a moving experience if you can block out all the chaos around you. As I went to each place, I tried to imagine the emotions of Jesus in each place and to feel the tension He must have felt knowing He was leaving the Passover meal a free man to cross the Kidron Valley, but would return a prisoner. It’s a very sobering journey.
As I entered the Church of All Nations at the foot of the Mount of Olives where the Garden of Gethsemane is, I walked around the outskirts of the sanctuary instead of down the middle. The purple glass in the shape of a cross makes sure that the room is lit, but remains dim. I went to the front where there is a rock protruding out of the foundation of the church. I stood outside the barrier as I watched people lay on it and weep. On the barrier were pieces of paper in different languages. I walked around until i found one in English. It had a portion of the Gospel of Luke that ended in Luke 22:46. It said, “Jesus went to the disciples who were sleeping and said, ‘Why are you asleep? Wake up and pray that you won’t be tested.’”
Are you and I like the disciples? Are we awakened to the things God is asking us to do or are we asleep? Do we realize that the moment God has us in right now is in preparation for greater things? God’s plan for you is always good. It may involve some suffering and times of emotional stress. There are times we will walk in darkness so we can share God’s light. The only way to achieve God’s desired outcome in our lives is to pray like Jesus prayed in the darkest time of His life. Luke 22:44 says, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done” (AMP). Submitting to God’s will, even in suffering and pain always yields the greatest outcome.
When it comes to taking a test, there are two main methods: taking your time and cramming. I usually found myself on the cramming side. I remember staying up all night trying to get as much information in my head in as little time as possible. When you’re up against a deadline, an all nighter is common. Deadlines make force us to focus and put our energy into what’s critical to us at that moment. Remember the last time you were up against a deadline? You got rid of all distractions and did what was necessary.
Jesus faced a literal deadline. He knew that He would be sacrificed as a Passover lamb. The night before His crucifixion, He pulled an all nighter with His disciples. He spent all night helping them to cram as much information as they could before He died. He focused on the critical things with them. He showed them servant leadership, had supper with them, then gave them final instructions. In John 14:1, I believe He said one of the most important things to them, and it applies to us today.
He said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (NLT). That word “let” means to allow. He told us not to allow our hearts to be troubled, anxious, or worried. We have control of that by choosing what we think about and who we trust in. Jesus was telling them, and us, “Don’t panic. I got this. Trust me.” He knew that the disciples were about to feel like sheep without a shepherd. He was reminding them that when life gets chaotic, He may not be visible, but He’s there with us. We can trust Him to work His plan.
If you believe in Jesus, then you have to know that our God is not a hands off God. He is one who is intimately involved in our day to day lives. We can put our trust in Him instead of in the uncertainty and chaos of our life. Don’t let your heart be troubled. God is in control. He sees the whole picture of your life, and is working things for your good. You may to see it now, but that’s where faith and trust comes in. If you trust Him and have faith in Him, you don’t have to let worry rule your heart.