It wasn’t easy for the disciples to consider Jesus leaving them. After spending so much time with Jesus, the disciples just didn’t want to hear about Him leaving and going to the Father. This message went in one ear and out the other. However, the plan of God was not for Jesus to stay on earth forever in His human body. After completing His mission on earth, He needed to go to the Father in order to send the Holy Spirit. The “hard thing” Jesus did resulted in the blessing of God’s presence being available for all believers! Here is how Jesus described this blessing (which followed hard choices): “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:25-27). Also, it wasn’t easy for Jesus to die on the cross. His death was the hardest thing He would ever face. Even the thought of crucifixion engulfed the strongest of men with crippling fear. On top of this, Jesus faced the challenge of becoming sin for us and being temporarily “alienated” from the Father’s presence. The only way He accomplished this was because of His great love for us! He knew the benefits and blessing that would flow out of His willingness to do the “hard thing.” As believers in Jesus, we follow Christ in every way. His life shows us that death must come before resurrection. Many will not submit to Jesus because it is a “hard thing” to die to control and “lordship” of one’s life. Sadly, these same people will never know the joy and fellowship of the resurrected Christ. Even after we have received Christ into our lives, the Lord tests us, seeing if we are willing to take up our cross and do the “hard thing”…whatever that might be. May we receive the grace of Jesus to do what is right—even though it is sometimes very difficult. This is the way of the cross…followed by the Resurrection!
Pastor Mark Boucher