Session eight of Jesus’ Final Week series. Often our first response to pain is to run from it and deny what we feel, thinking somehow that life is supposed to be easy, smooth and comfortable. In his book The Road Less Travelled Scott Peck opens up new levels of personal growth for many by challenging his readers to admit, “Life is difficult.” Peck goes on to say that most emotional disorders come from the illegitimate avoidance of suffering. Because Jesus taught, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” Christians can say that honestly facing and feeling our grief is the best way through it.
In what specific ways might helping a person mourn in the midst of pain be a better approach than telling someone to “cheer up” or to “keep a stiff upper lip”?
How have you been encouraged or discouraged by others in times of personal grief and loss?
Somewhere in our hearts there is pain from loss and grief that we have yet to fully face. Ask God to give you the courage to come into those places of pain so that he can comfort you. Rest for a while in his comforting presence.
Matthew 27 records the execution of Jesus. As Pilate and the religious leaders condemn, mock and crucify God’s Son, God himself seems strangely absent. Yet to those who have eyes to see, his presence and power are unmistakable. Read the entire chapter aloud, taking turns, with each person reading about ten verses.
Ask God to give you the faith to face the pain that comes from living in a world that kills its Saviour.
Saturday is the missing day in this last week of Jesus’ life. It is a day of waiting. In some traditions an Easter vigil is kept in the church. People pray and read Scripture throughout the night, watching for Jesus. Create your own Easter vigil time of prayer and waiting this week as you prepare for Easter