I have traveled some rough roads in my life. There was the “road” up to a mountain cabin in Virginia that was not much more than a logging trail. I believe our top speed was about 5 mph as the four-wheel drive pickup bounced and groaned up the mountain. Then there was the road from Bangui to Mbaiki in the Central African Republic. More times than I could count we were forced to come to a complete halt and creep around holes almost as big as our vehicle. Closer to home, our roads in Pennsylvania are often nothing to brag about (and you fellow Pennsylvanians know what I am talking about, especially when you have just avoided being swallowed up by a gaping pothole that you didn’t see)!
As difficult as some of these roads were to travel, they pale in comparison to the difficult road the Lord Jesus journeyed on his way to the cross. On three different occasions Jesus forewarned his disciples about this road he was destined to walk. He plainly told them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise” (Luke 18:31-33). How did his disciples respond to this dire prediction? They didn’t. Luke tells us “they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said” (Luke 18:34). Perhaps this was hidden from them, for if they had truly understood, their horror would have most likely prevented them from taking another step.
Jesus, on the other hand, knew exactly what was waiting for him in Jerusalem. Yet he continued on his journey (and we are forever grateful that he did!). As we approach Easter, we want to walk along with Jesus on his road to the cross. For as we observe what he did and what he said during the final days of his earthly life, our faith will be strengthened and our hearts will be warmed. And in these ever darker and increasingly troublesome days in which we live, all of us desperately need stronger faith and warmer hearts!
I invite you to join us on Sunday mornings at either 9:00 or 10:30. And if you come on April 9th (Palm Sunday), you can enjoy our newly renovated sanctuary! We would love to welcome you to Grace!