Via Dolorosa (“Way of Grief” in Latin) is a road in the old city of Jerusalem, a path where Jesus was lead in agony, carrying the crucifixion cross.
Today is Good Friday. The day of Via Dolorosa. The other side of the cross we can look back and call this day good, but in the midst of Jesus’ pain and suffering over 2000 years ago this was not a good day in the day of his disciples and followers.
Suffering. Grief. Pain.
The movie, God’s Not Dead, provided realistic stories of people suffering and struggling in life. There were scenes of family rejection because a daughter accepted Jesus as her Savior, a break up, dementia, severe intimidation of authority, public humiliation, cancer, accidents, daily struggles, pride and arrogance, and low self-worth….
But, woven all throughout these struggles that are so common in our daily lives were God moments and His Sovereignty bringing light and joy in the journey toward heaven–our ultimate home with Jesus.
What is your Via Dolorosa?
Only a real risk can test the reality of a belief. (God’s Not Dead)
I recently listened on the radio to a testimony of parents who lost their child to a rare disease. Part of his disease caused him to go blind. The mother remembered how the child felt so afraid in the dark and wanted her near–to hold him and then he would stop screaming.
She entered into his pain and suffering. She said that Jesus did that for her as she said good-bye to her son and watched him suffer. Jesus entered in and held her, comforted her, and brought peace. She also shared that when people around her would dare to enter into her pain and suffering and help her son, she saw the hands and feet of Jesus.
Suffering is hard to watch and care for. I’ve been in situations in which I’ve seen loved ones cry out in pain and there was nothing I could do but hold them and pray over them. The days after, the agony and memories are hard to digest emotionally with our human minds. We want to reason, figure things out, and we want an answer. Sometimes answers will not come. Jesus asks us to enter into the suffering, and He promises to be there every step of the way.
If you see the movie God’s Not Dead, you will ponder the Sovereignty of God as you have the advantage point of the “big picture view” that the characters in the movie do not have privy to.
Imagine your life in the big picture of God’s story. You are in His story, whether you accept Him as the author and finisher of your life or not.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
You will not know it’s entirety until eternity in which He promises to give us the mind of Christ. Until then, He calls us to a faith that seems impossible, but He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and fill us with power beyond our human capability.
I’ll leave this post with a scene from the movie. The very successful lawyer challenges his mother who has dementia. I guess he feels safe talking about the uselessness of Jesus with someone who seemingly is out of touch with reality. But for a brief moment, although she does not recognize him as her son, she shared the reality of his decision to not follow Christ.
Mark: (the successful lawyer–her son)
You prayed and believed your whole life. Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You’re the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!
Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.
What a Good Friday this would be to realize our need for Jesus. He has risen! The empty grave and the stone rolled away have provided an open door for you!
The door’s wide open…..
A resource on how to know Jesus as your Savior:
GREAT VIDEO: GOD’S NOT DEAD–NEWSBOYS