Everyone struggled on crucifixion Friday: The disciples struggled to keep faith. Pilate struggled to save face. Faithful women struggled to help Jesus. Pharisees struggled to discredit Jesus. Soldiers struggled to hurt Jesus.
But no one struggled more than Jesus. People called him a liar, beat him with sticks, and plastered his face with spit. They yanked chunks of flesh from his back with a hook-tipped whip, crucified him naked in front of family and friends.
What few friends there were….when falsely accused, no one defended him. When he stumbled beneath the weight of the cross, no one came to help him. When hung up to die, no one rescued him.
How did Jesus endure such an ordeal?
Here is how Jesus turned a day of suffering into Good Friday. “…for the joy set before him, [Jesus] endured the cross.” (Heb. 12:2 NKJV).
Jesus faced his Friday by looking into eternity. By making Heaven bigger, his pain became smaller. Follow him through Friday and listen in on his thoughts.
Daybreak: He tells his accusers, “The Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Mighty God” (Lk. 22:69 NIV). Matthew’s Gospel adds these words: “In the future you will see the Son of Man…coming on the clouds of Heaven” (Mt. 26:64 NIV).
When interrogated by Pilate later in the day, Jesus’ mind still lingers in Heaven. “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn. 18:36 NIV). Jesus kept lifting his eyes upward. “You would have no power if it were not given to you from above” (Jn. 19:11 NIV).
Jesus faced His Friday by facing eternity.
Let’s do likewise. As Heaven grows, our struggles lessen.
© Max Lucado, 2013