The Journey to Jerusalem
By Debbie Herbeck
On Good Friday, we find ourselves at the foot of the cross, reflecting on the horrific death that Jesus endured to save us from our sins. We mark this event with a day of fasting and an increased awareness of Christ’s suffering, but most days we don’t think much about how and why Jesus was nailed to that cross.
The Scriptures tell us: “Jesus went up to Jerusalem…” This isn’t merely a way to describe his whereabouts, it is communicating so much more. Jesus was on a mission from His Father that would culminate in Jerusalem on the Passover. He knew His destination and he put the realization of His destiny into action. He didn’t run away, hide, or procrastinate. He didn’t argue with His Father about the timing or His own readiness. He knew it was His time to die, and He obeyed.
Throughout Lent we follow Him on the journey to Jerusalem that would only end in suffering and death. We see no looking back, no detours, no second guessing. As he walked that lonely path, betrayed by a friend, abandoned by most, despised, rejected, mocked, tortured and killed, there was never a moment when He was surprised or caught off guard. He never thought, “How in the world did I sink so low, how did I get to this place, what is happening?”
Jesus willed it all; He allowed it all; He welcomed it all. He could have stopped it all instantaneously. But out of love—for His Heavenly Father and His creation (you and me), He freely gave His life as a gift.
As you make your way this Lent to the hill of Calvary to watch Him die, remember that Jesus climbed upon the cross and willed His death to bring YOU life; it was not the nails that held Him there, it was His love for you.
Ask Him for the help and grace to make your life a gift to God and to others. Maybe we’re not ready to literally die for our faith, and the Lord will most likely never ask us to do so. But each day, we can say yes to the Father’s will, and to walk like Jesus, even in pain and suffering, with courage and confidence toward our destiny as daughters of the King. This kind of love, freely offered, is what will transform the world.