It was a hard week for Jesus and for His followers, the week before his crucifixion. Let’s look at a few of the responses of the heart surrounding Holy Week from the perspective of those closest to Him. Let Jesus meet you as you consider these scenes.
Heart of Apprehension--- Where is Jesus taking me now?
Disciples are not sure of what to think as they sense a stir during the parade into Jerusalem, yet it would be difficult for them to not see the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy in front of their eyes. Staying grounded in the Word of God will help us stay grounded in times of uncertainty.
Emotionally Tired Heart--I want to be intimate with you, Jesus, but I am too worn out.
While in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asks his disciples 3 times to stay with Him as He prays. And 3 times they fall asleep. Although I am certain Jesus was disappointed in their lack of emotional support, He let it go. He understood their humanity and did not hold it against them. He ultimately entrusted them to the Father’s will and timing, knowing that the Holy Spirit was coming and would finish the good work in them. Being aware of what others are facing will grow compassion in us, allowing trust and release of the outcome into the Father’s hand.
Divided Heart---Why do I care so much about what other people think?
Peter gave into his false self when he denied Jesus 3 times. He was more concerned about what other people said about him, turning away from his true identity as a beloved son of God. Peter was confronted by his weakness, one he had a hard time admitting. He couldn’t see his need for Jesus to wash his feet the night before and I wonder if he wished he would have received from Jesus more freely. Living in our true self means growing in awareness of what our hearts need to feel His love for us. And then creating space to receive it.
Faithful Heart—I am going to worship even if Jesus seems dead to me.
Mary and the other women go to the tomb with spices, caring for Jesus’ dead body. They follow Him and want to be near Him even if He physically is not with them. Remaining constant in our affection for Jesus (and others) even when we don’t feel like it or when we have nothing to gain is the sign of a surrendered, faithful life.
Believing Heart---Jesus has revealed Himself personally to me and I stand on that revelation despite what others say.
Mary’s believing heart is in stark contrast to the disciple’s unbelief that Jesus is alive. We are all at different stages of the journey and growth. Supporting each other, being patient with each other, challenging each other and learning from each other are key aspects of community that keep our hearts strong.
Doubting Heart –I will not believe until I see Him.
Thomas felt like an outsider. He was not present when Jesus appeared to the other disciples. He could not get wrapped up in the exciting new faith journey of the others until He saw Jesus for himself. Christ lovingly responds to his doubting heart, and shows him his wounded hands and side. However, Jesus states there is even a more blessed life when we believe without seeing.
Slow of Heart to Burning Heart—I was unable to recognize Him in my circumstance at first.
The first response of the two on the road to Emmaus was thickheaded, but as Jesus walks with them and as He unveils scripture, their hearts burn with fire and passion. (Luke 24:32). Never underestimate the power and change of perspective available to you when you let Jesus teach you.
Restored Heart—Take me back to my first love and show me how you accept me today, Jesus.
Jesus restored Peter’s wayward heart after breakfast by the sea. He did not leave Peter alone in condemnation after he messed up. Peter is broken and in a new place to receive the love and comfort of Jesus. The acceptance we receive from Jesus lays the foundation for a tremendously fruitful life!