If hopelessness sits deep in the pit of your stomach, and you’ve just about given up, maybe it will help you to remember Good Friday is coming.
Isn’t it strange that we call such a horrific day, “good?” On this side of The Cross we call it good because this day changed the course of eternity.
But for those who witnessed Jesus die, the atrocity of crucifixion, and the absurdity of an innocent man’s death proved unbearable. Many disciples disappeared. They were nowhere to be found. Yet a few could not keep themselves away.
One of them was His mother. Mary did what any mamma would do. She would not leave her son’s side no matter how awful, bloody, and painful the view. She stayed to the end.
The Apostle John and Mary Magdalene stood by her side. I’m sure their hearts broke for Mary as they did for Jesus. I don’t imagine any words were said. What do you say to a mother as she watches her son suffer such horror? Maybe they held her hands.
Jesus told John to take care of Mary. I love this about Jesus. With his dying breaths he made provisions for his mom (John 19: 26-27).
Maybe that brought some comfort to her, but how did she endure that day?What would you do if you were Mary? I know what I would’ve done. Here’s some of my thoughts from A Mary Like Me.
If I tried to slip my feet in Mary’s worn sandals on that bitter day when Jesus cried out, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”), I would’ve been gritting my teeth, screaming within my soul, begging and demanding for God not to forsake my son.
Then again, there’s a chance I would’ve been too numb to move, to think, to pray.
I have a feeling Mary might have had those very same thoughts. The angel Gabriel had told her, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32).
Can you hear Mary’s heart beating and the questions running frantically through her head? She probably found herself questioning again just as she had questioned Gabriel the night he gave her the assignment.
How can this be?
On the day of Jesus’ death, there were no angels in sight. There were no signs given by heavenly beings of the fulfillment of Gabriel’s words; there was only the nauseating, faith-snatching scene of the Son of God nailed upon a cross. It was a day like no other, and Mary N. probably thought that it would never end….A Mary Like Me
If you’ve felt forsaken by God, you join the ranks of biblical saints and Jesus Himself.
Oh, for faith to see beyond the fear and disappointment of today to the hope of Easter. My friends, the Cross was not the end to the story. And whatever has you hopeless today is not the end to yours. God’s not finished.
Mary, John, Mary Magdalene, and Peter . . . they all had to wait for hope. You will too. In the mean time, search for Jesus. God promises, “When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.” He is our hope.
Search for Jesus
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb the next morning searching for a dead Jesus, but the Alive Jesus found her. She fell at His feet holding on tight. He was real, not a ghost or hallucination, a real breathing, hugging, holes in his hands and feet Jesus who gave Mary a job.
Why did Mary see Him first? It’s simple. She was the only one looking. If your situation seems hopeless begin looking for Jesus in it. He’s our Redeemer who works our all things for good, even our hopelessness.
Resurrection is in the air. Can you feel it? Join me this week as we dig into scriptures pertaining to the Resurrection of Jesus and the hope it gives us.
Bite of Bread Reading Plan and Printable
Acts 2:24: But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Prompt: Jesus felt forsaken on the Cross, but He was not forsaken to the grave. God is faithful. Can you think of a time when you had to go through a trial or difficult time, but you experienced God’s faithfulness and good that came out of it?
Acts 2: 25: David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Prompt: Some of the Psalms are prophetic. They are called “Messianic Psalms.” This is one quoted by Peter in his famous sermon where 3000 people came to believe in Jesus. The right hand was a place where a helper stood. Isn’t it amazing that the Lord is at our right hand willing to help. How can this imagery help you?
Acts 2: 26-27:
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
Prompt: The Messianic Psalm continues. David’s prophetic words amaze me. God kept this promise to Jesus. His body did not see decay. How does this give you hope today?
Acts 2:28: You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
Prompt: Could you use some joy today? Worship. Seek His Presence worshiping in the study in song, and with thankfulness.
1 Thessalonians 4:14: For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
Prompt: Nothing can keep us from Jesus. Even death. How does this hope affect hopelessness today?
1 Thessalonians 4: 16: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Prompt: Write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for this promise. What does it mean to you?
John 20: 17: Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Prompt: These were Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene. Chew on them today. Ask the Lord to reveal the significance of His words and His instruction to Mary. What does it mean to you?
You’re not alone
What hopeless situation are you staring at today?
Can you leave it at the Cross? Leave a comment. I would love to pray for you. Also, join us Wednesday night on Facebook to dig deeper into these scriptures. Come be encouraged. 7:30 PM ET, Andy Lee (FB) or watch later on You Tube.