Every year, at Easter time, I ask God for a new song to sing and declare over Easter. I tend to do it every year, really. This year, the song “Hope has a name; His name is Jesus” was my anthem.
Easter is always so powerful because I believe we are focused so much more on the death and resurrection than we normally are at any other time of year.
I know it is September, not Easter, and it is definitely strange to be reflecting in the last quarter of the year on what happened in the first quarter of the year. The human mind tends to work in timelines, but I would like to encourage you with what you focus on in your reflection moments.
Passover is the significance of Easter – the moment that Christ became our sin offering, when He took upon Himself ALL the punishment for OUR sins. This is the greatest Redemption story, fulfilled, a real event, that split the calendar to mark a new era. A New Way. A New Covenant.
Jesus Christ, The Messiah of All Creation, retold the story of a fallen creation that started in a garden and ended in a desert. He, on the night He knew He would be betrayed, sat in the garden of Gethsemane, praying, crying out to Abba Father, Daddy God: the anguish of the awaiting pain lay on Him. But, in a moment, He was strengthened. He stood up, and stepped forward when the guards came to arrest Him. The garden where Adam and Eve broke the covenant of intimacy with God was, in this moment, being redeemed by Jesus, for you, for me (“Selah.” Pause to consider this moment.)
The Bible tells us, in Luke 22:43-53 (NLT):
“Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 'Why are you sleeping?' he asked them. 'Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.'
Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, 'Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?' When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, 'Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!' And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. But Jesus said, 'No more of this.' And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. 'Am I some dangerous revolutionary,' he asked, 'that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.'”
Being Omnipotent, meaning Jesus knows ALL things, the beginning from the end, He already knew ALL that was about to happen to Him. Think about moments in your life when you have prayed fervently and asked for the situation to change, but still the trouble and the pain happened. Maybe you were retrenched from work, even though you were a top-performing employee. Maybe you prayed for a miracle, for the diagnosis to change, but still you had to go through all the treatments, operations and journeys of healing.
Jesus understands what you are facing. And He knows the beginning and end of your trial. In the same way (vs 44), “Jesus prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.”
Maybe you asked people to pray you through a situation. You asked them to support you through the trial. You asked them to hold your hand through the divorce. You asked them to pray for you while you grieved the loss. But alas, they soon forgot about you – they stopped calling; they fell asleep in their friendship to you.
Jesus understands what you are facing. And He knows the beginning and the end of your pain. In the same way (vs 45), “Jesus stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief.”
Maybe you were sold out by a business partner. Maybe you were betrayed by your friend. Maybe the affair was because of your friend. Maybe the fraud was your business partner, but you are paying the price for them selling you out.
Jesus understands what you are facing. And He knows the beginning and the end of your betrayal. In the same way (vs 47&48), “But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. Jesus said,'Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?'”
Maybe many got hurt from a family disagreement. Now you no longer even see each other. There has been a severance of communication between you all. Jesus understands what you are facing. And He knows the beginning and the end of your devastation. In the same way (vs 50), “And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.”
In all this pain, Jesus stood up and walked into the many more moments of pain and anguish that would still happen that night.
Every step He took, He took with you in mind. He walked through the valley of the shadow of death.
“But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.” (vs 53)
Jesus understands your valley.
But there is Hope for you.
Psalm 23 reminds us that in the shadow of death, in the presence of your enemies, HE PREPARES A TABLE FOR YOU. The Holy Communion is the meal that strengthens us in the trial.
The blood Jesus shed for you and me dripped from Him, every step He took. HE gave it all, for you.
When you are facing a situation that simply is too much for you to bear, my friend, look up and see the cross of Jesus. Go and slowly recount His steps, and see that every step you are taking through your valley, He has already taken. He has already redeemed you from this. He has already paid the price for you. He has already won the battle.
The Hope that your soul must anchor to is Jesus. His name is the name above all other names. It’s the Name above: Abused, Victim, Abandoned, Rejected, Crushed, Broken, Sick, Wounded, Betrayed. All those names bow to the name of Jesus. He is greater. He will heal you in the battle.
Let Him restore your ears to hear the goodness of God in the trial. Let Him be the one who communes with you in the valley. Let Him be the Hope for you, today and tomorrow.
Hope has a name, and His name, Jesus Christ, redeems you from the curse of this world. You now live in the finished work of Your Saviour. What He did on the Cross was enough. It was more than enough for everything you are going through. Look up! And see the Salvation of the Lord.
I pray you are strengthened. May every day be a day when we are strengthened by Jesus and all He has done to redeem us.
Women of Reverence welcomes Cindy Osborne as a guest contributor.
Cindy Osborne is married to Nicholas and together they are blessed with 4 beautiful children. She works as a learning content developer and trainer. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing information with them that makes an impact and difference in their lives, enabling them to help themselves. She manages a monthly charity drive for an orphanage in Ivory Park where she simply asks anyone to help these young children who cannot help themselves.
Cindy enjoys a good cup of coffee, reading, listening to CHRISTIAN podcasts and by loving Jesus in her best way possible.