Part 6: Life Held

Life Held - Easter Series Part 6 On John 12:25

In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. John 12:25

After they had finished their meal and wine, Jesus took the disciples to Gethsemane. It was ceremonious to drink at least 4 cups of wine during the Passover meal and to eat all the food, so with full bellies and heads, they walked.

It had been an eventful dinner. The betrayal of Judas had been revealed and he had left. Jesus foretold of Peter’s denial, which offended Peter no end… he said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” Jesus had spoken of his body being broken, his blood being poured out, feet were washed, houses with many rooms were mentioned as was the Holy Spirit. The night would have left anyone’s mind spinning and full.

Nevertheless, well after dark and while most families were sleeping soundly in their beds, Jesus took his friends to the garden to pray. More blood flowed, dripping from his brow. “Take this cup from me… But not my will, Father… yours be done.” He would walk the most difficult steps of his journey by faith and conviction. Grace soaked.

He turned and found his disciples asleep. Sleeping on the Night of Watching… he didn’t want them to miss the night that all the stories, all the waiting, all the sacrifices, all the moments through the generations had been pointing to to all along.

The authorities came in secret, under the cover of darkness. Betrayal owned the night. As they arrested and led Jesus away, Judas fled, Peter lost all control and the disciples were left speechless.

Jesus trials lasted through the night before any of the crowd who had praised him as he entered Jerusalem, who had soaked up his words, who had seen him heal and forgive, woke up. The Sanhedrin and those against him had been planning this for a while. They had calculated the exact time of day (night) and secured the witnesses they needed to charge Jesus and see him crucified. So by the time the city started to rise for the day, Jesus had already been tried several times back and forth, stripped, tortured, accused and charged. As people left their homes to attend the Temple, they met Jesus stumbling in the opposite direction, hardly recognizable, on his way to Golgotha.

Peter could hardly believe it and didn’t want to. He manifested his disbelief to those around him. Whispers and rumors and questions swept the city as they watched their King at his most vulnerable and broken moments.

It had happened. His body was breaking and his blood was seeping from it, being poured out bit by bit, leaving a trail behind him, his life ebbing slowly along with it.

With all that was going on around him – the two men on either side, John and Mary at his feet, Judas fleeing to a lonely field, the soldiers, the Rabbis, the authorities, the people, the hours, the thirst, the pain, Jesus became our sacrifice.

As his last moments of life slipped by, he cried,

“My God, my God, why have You abandoned Me.”

It was his way of whispering to us all across the ages… to those of us who’ve been afflicted, abandoned, held hostage by addiction, beaten and trodden, filled with shame and guilt, abused and heart broken, sin-filled and disease ladened; to everyone who has ever felt the deepest darkest depths of loneliness and hopelessness, for the suffering of all those before him and those yet to be, Jesus was saying, “Me too…

Our Savior surely did carry the weight of us all upon his broken, blood leaking body… He shared in our pain and humanity. He mixed it into himself.

And then he died, like a lamb led to the slaughter, the final sacrifice… but hope was not lost. Rather, with his death, Jesus planted hope deep down into the soil of life.

He had said just hours before,

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12.

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