Fourth Week of Lent – Thursday
April 4, 2019
From Presbyterian Outlook Devotions, Jill Duffield, Editor
21 He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, 22 saying, "The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." 23 Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. 25 What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? 26 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Jesus does not tell us only that which we want to hear. He plainly teaches the most difficult lesson of all: that he will suffer and die. He also says clearly that he will rise again on the third day. The joy of resurrection comes only after the pain of crucifixion. Pray today for all of those in the midst of pain and suffering. Be willing to hear and speak hard truth that leads to new life.
Jesus, you do not spare us the painful truth that suffering and death inevitably come to all, even the Son of Man. You also clearly teach that God works through horrendous events, even your crucifixion. May our knowledge of this gospel truth grant us hope and the courage to lose our lives for your sake in the confidence that in so doing we will be saved. Amen.