Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them… And as they followed Him, they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him. “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”-Mark 10:32-34
It is the season of walking along the road, following Jesus as He leads us to Jerusalem. Perhaps like the disciples on the first long walk to Jerusalem, we are frightened of where He leads. Frightened of change, of loss. Frightened that our future might not be secure. Afraid of what we may have to give up. So terrified that we cannot see the glorious hope, the blessed assurance, the certainty of His plan. So He takes us aside, again.
The tenderness of our Savior is poignant and patient in this passage. I see myself, following Him to a place where my faith has never before walked, a place I cannot imagine surviving. Fear mingles with flagging faith as I follow on. I am following because I cannot live without Him. All my hopes and dreams are wrapped up in this Man. My future depends upon Him. The plans for my life are intermingled with what He does, what He says. So do I have the courage to follow Him even when I am afraid of where He leads?
He knows my fear. And in his kindness and compassion, He takes me aside once again to give me hope beyond the confusion. Hope beyond the agony. Hope beyond my fear, reminding me of His power over the darkness.
What are you facing this week as we approach Jerusalem? What fear chokes you, making your feet stumble along the steep and rocky road? Come aside with the risen Jesus. Hear the hope in His voice. Let Him wrap His arms around you and comfort you with His presence. Again. And again.