Put yourself in the shoes of the disciples, Jesus’ closest friends.
He’s been saying all kinds of weird things about leaving, being denied, and rebuilding temples. All of the sudden, Jesus gets arrested, tried, and crucified. Now it’s Saturday and there is nothing but confusion, fear, and most likely a tinge of hopelessness in your heart and mind. The one you thought came to save you is dead and buried. The way they killed him over the course of a day with extreme prejudice makes you want to hide from the masses, so you mourn the death of your savior in private.
Normally you would have turned to Jesus for direction in this moment, but he is behind a stone in a tomb. You remember when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and wish that He could call Himself back from the dead. You are at a loss without direction, and vulnerable to attacks from the enemy.
Jump back to your life today.
Do you ever experience seasons of hopelessness? Do you ever feel like there is nowhere to turn? When you look at your life, is there a laundry list of things that seem to be going wrong? I can tell you that as a church employee during Holy Week, there is a real threat from the enemy to disrupt what we are trying to do in the Name of Jesus to further His Kingdom. Pastor Scott spoke to us about this at our all staff meeting yesterday.
I hadn’t thought about it much until then. Stupid little things that can be annoyances any other time of the year are piling up right now. Communication breakdowns at work and at home are more prevalent, sickness is rearing its ugly head again in my family, long work days are exhausting me emotionally as well as physically, parts of my van are breaking, and that’s just a fraction of the list I wrote last night.
Any other week, my response to that list would be to brush it off. I should communicate better, illness happens, sometimes you have to suck it up and work long hours, and with as much as we drive it, something was bound to break on the van sooner or later.
I felt stuck in Saturday. Little things were compounding into arguments with coworkers, and the stress and frustration that I felt was bringing me to a breaking point. I was getting to the point of feeling as though my efforts were worthless and anything that I would normally look at objectively became personal to me. If someone didn’t like something, it must mean that they don’t like me.
But it’s not just me. This kind of thing is happening to pastors and church employees and volunteers everywhere this week. Satan would like nothing better than to disrupt our lives this week, the week we celebrate our salvation.
And with that in mind, I pray to God that His will be done. I pray for His protection against the enemy. I pray that His Name be proclaimed to the lost in a way this weekend that multitudes turn and place all their hope and trust in Him. I pray that the enemy who has already been defeated loses his grip on the lives that need Jesus and that every attack he attempts on the Church is denied. I pray that the Spirit moves people to come to church with open hearts to hear what they need to hear. I pray that the power of the resurrection of Christ breaks every stronghold, loosens ever chain, and softens every hardened heart so that He may be glorified. To God be the glory, power, and honor, forevermore. Amen.