I can imagine that the meeting with God in the garden of Gethsemane was the closest for Jesus. Because He chose not what was more comfortable to Him, but what God wanted. Such decisions are made only out of closeness.
Holy Thursday. Garden
I want to return to the place of desire. The place within me where I will react with joy and wonder to the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. With butterflies in my stomach. And calmness. The devil took away the joy of our meetings. The pleasure of walking in the garden together. Chatting. Sharing everything. With no shame, no guilt or fear. He has separated. He has robbed. He has killed.
He gave us access to this place. We can go in there if we want to. Reconciled. Cleansed. We don’t have to pretend. Conceal. Hide. But come as who we are. To the garden. And be with Dad. To cultivate these joy and wonder to meet Him as we walk in the morning breeze. And to grasp this fulfillment when we join Him.
Holy Thursday, for me, is a prayer for enlargement. Discovery of new alleys in the garden, maybe between banana and moringa trees. New paths. New delights between us. This is a prayer for a capacity I have never had before. To meet You like never before. Just to stay together.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:8-10)
Good Friday. Rest
In this new breadth of mine, don’t let me be wise. Analyze. Break it down into smaller ones. Look carefully. To be left with nothing. Your cross is so silly. It does not fit within the wisdom of this world’s framework. Education makes fun of it. In this new breadth of mine, do not let me think, save in front of everything that I have been taught for years. Thank You for the simplicity of the cross. Its uncomplicated rescue.
Father. Dad. Revealed in the Son. Revealed to whom He wills. I want this to be me. Reveal to me the Father. Reveal to me the God who could do anything, yet still He wanted to be my father.
In this new breadth of mine, carry for me. I watch You dying with my sin, sickness, scarcity, grief, inability. How You keep silent about whose fault led You to the cross. And that mine.
Today I am with You by the cross. And I watch how You make me free. How you are preparing to win. How bad you look in that unconditional love of Yours that they say is impossible. “I’m sorry” is not enough. “Thank you” is not enough as well.
And You look at me and take everything without a word. And You say: rest.
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30)
Holy Saturday. Silence
Sometimes it feels like You’re not there. As if You stopped listening. Stopped responding. As if we lost communication somewhere halfway. As if You died.
My experience then comes alive. It tells me wise things that I cannot find in Your Word. And Your Word then, so silent.
Then I wait. Big enough not to believe anyone but You. No matter how long I can’t hear You. No matter how long I don’t see my circumstances changed. Unhealing. Missing. Pain. I wait knowing that although You look dead, you are at work. You are. You can hear. You listen. You are preparing me for your miracle. It is finished.
That day the people who believed You and walked with You must have been so disappointed. But it was their choice. You said what would happen. They weren’t listening? They did not believe? In my silence, don’t let me forget what You promised me. In my expectation, I want to be strengthened by faith. Praise and honor You. When I can’t see, let me see. When in doubt, convince me that You have the power to do what You said. Reassure me that it is the faith that brings forth the promise.
Your cross is my first.
Therefore, however bad the situation is today, I am quiet and I am well aware of what will happen tomorrow.
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed – God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” (Romans 4:16-18)
Holy Sunday. Everything
You are here! And nothing can come between us anymore. I am loved unreasonably. Forever. Gifted with everything. With no expiry date. You have won, and I won with You.
I want to choose this victory every day. Because, still, I may not use your sacrifice on the cross. Once, when I was lying sick with lumps on my lymph nodes and I was scared, you said to me, “Every time you are afraid, you are making my sacrifice unnecessary.” It was two weeks before my departure to Mozambique, for two months. I was afraid of that too. You said the same about it.
I want to win every day. I can because You have won. Don’t let me choose anything less than “everything” you won for me on the cross. Forgiveness of sins. Access to God. Health. Enough of everything. Freedom. A new life, not a better one. New life.
You say I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Innocent. You say I reign with You. That we are sitting together at the right hand of the Father in heaven, above all that could harm me. That I am a new creation. That what’s old is over. Don’t let me live any lower. Poorer. Everything I need is in Christ. My wealth without dimensions.
You are alive! And there’s nothing between us anymore. And I’m waiting for You to come again.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)