We Don’t Talk About This Person Enough on Holy Week

Holy Week

Holy Week is here, and it’s a time to remember Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. That story is central to the Christian faith and the main theme we celebrate at this time of year—and hopefully every other time as well (topic for another time). But this Holy Week, I’ve been reflecting on another character in the crucifixion story—the Father. 

Only three accounts come into mind when we think of God the Father in the Holy Week narrative. In these accounts, Jesus holds the speaking lines:

The first is in the Garden when Jesus prays: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42, NIV)

The second is on the cross when Jesus asks, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV)

The third is when Jesus cries out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Matthew 27:46, NIV)

In these accounts, the Father does not respond. But just like the small voice that spoke to Elijah, He speaks volumes. When we listen intently and eagerly to understand Jesus’ words to the Father, we find three truths about His character that would powerfully speak volumes about our lives, circumstances, doubts, and testings. Let’s look at each one: 

1) The Father Who Didn’t Take the Cup

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Luke 22:42, NIV

In the garden, Jesus is battling fervently in prayer. His hour has come, and He’s about to face the most significant challenge anyone has ever faced. He was going to meet suffering, death, and hell— all to save wretches from their own doing. 

As Jesus prays, He asks that the Father find another way if He can, but ultimately surrenders to His bidding. I got to think about this exchange and realize that God could have found a way. He is mighty and wise beyond measure. Still, He chose this way despite the immense suffering the Son would have to endure. 

The Father knows best, but sometimes His way does not detach from immense pain. He sometimes brings us through pain, suffering, and hardships to fulfill His will. I don’t know what cup you’ve had to endure. But if you’ve suffered because it’s His will, you’re on the right track.

2) The Father Who Forgave

 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34, NIV

The Father has not withheld His wrath throughout scripture. He’s brought famine, fire, death, darkness, war, and weakness. He has avenged Israel, prophets, righteous men, and His Holy name. Yet, when His one and only Son was flogged and maligned, He held back His wrath. 

The love of the Father is bewildering. But it is also wild when we understand the objects of His affection. He loves the Son because He is One with Him. But He also loves sinners. And in moments when grace and forgiveness are possible, He will not withhold. 

To this very day, I cannot get over the lavish and overwhelming love of the Father. And I will never meet the day that I will. That’s why eternity is so set on my heart. I hope such a revelation has enveloped your heart, too.

3) The Father Who Forsook

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

Matthew 27:46, NIV

And, so, here comes the moment of all moments. There has never been a minute more pivotal in the world’s history—when the Father departs from the Son’s presence. God the Father forsook Jesus because He now helps all the sins of mankind. 

Because God is Holy, He could not bear the sight of the filth of our misgivings. It wasn’t Jesus’; it never was. All that vileness, sorry misery, spiritual putridness, and decay—that was the state of our souls. Now, they were on the Son. And now, the Father had to turn the other way. 

That’s how grave our sin is. The Son was separated from the Father for a moment. Nothing else in the great timelines of the cosmos had ever done that before. It was only sin— our sin. Our impure thoughts, pride, selfishness, lustful desires, and idolatry. 

But that was not the end. Because when Jesus breathed his last breath and gave His spirit up to Hell’s grip, and when Hell could not swallow it because He was blameless and pure, our testimony changed. Now, we can live in justified blessedness and be transformed by the Spirit of God so that the world might know of the crime of the ages pinned on a man who knew no sorrow.

I Was So Angry At God

Let me be honest and authentic here on my blog (it’s not like more than a hundred read these anyway). Some months ago, I went through one of the most trying ordeals in quite a while. I’m not going into specifics here. What I will tell you is all the testing made me so angry. I wasn’t angry at anyone else but God. I’m not proud of my heart’s state, but that was what I felt; this wasn’t the first time. 

I was angry at God because my battles didn’t make sense. I was furious because I couldn’t see His hand move. I was enraged because I thought He was being unreasonable. I was angry because He challenged my beliefs and notions and stripped me of my confidence. I knew I didn’t have the right and I knew I wasn’t right, but I couldn’t help it. I was just so angry.

But in my anger, I could only feel a Father’s love. It’s unlike anything you can explain. But that’s what it was. Every moment I wanted to turn my back on Him, forsake Him, and renounce my trust in Him, I could only feel that love. 

The Father’s love continues His will despite the cup we have to spill. 

The Father’s love poured His forgiveness on me when my sin drove the nails into the Son’s limbs. 

The Father’s love turned His back on His most beloved so that I could come face to face with Him at any desired moment. 

I don’t know if that was the last time I’d ever be angry with God. I doubt it. I’m unsure if my faith will stand more steadfast the next time another shaking comes knocking at my door (and it will more and more). 

But the Father’s love will be steady in my failings and fear-driven ramblings. It will hold me in place, though my heart wavers. It will do the same for you, too, my friend. 

We Mustn’t Forget

What does it take to hold fast to the Father’s love? All you must do is remember. Take the Holy Week to remember the Father’s love. Take every possible moment outside of this week to do the same. We can easily forget, but we mustn’t. In communion and community, we are reminded of the cross and the Father who ordained it so that the Son would set us free. 

For God (the Father) so loved the world.

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