I have been back from my life changing trip to Israel for five days now. It’s almost to hard to process those precious lifechanging moments. I walked where Jesus walked. Touched things Jesus touched. And in the process HE touched me.
HE touched me.
Now, here I am back to my real life. My regular stuff. My regular life found me yesterday at 2:30 pm in the Sonic drive-thru, excited about 1/2 priced Happy Hour drinks. Diet coke with extra lime to be exact.
I pushed the magic red button to order. While waiting on a response, my phone rang. At the same time I answered my phone, it randomly started hailing outside (welcome first day of spring!) I promptly closed the window, chatted with my sister for a second on the phone, hung up and then sat there. Call it jet lag ( I can blame everything for a month on THAT right) but I just sat there in sort of a daze.
I may or may not have sat there until the car hop knocked on my window, causing me to let out a big scream.
Excuse me miss, you pushed the button and then didn’t say anything in response to us. Did you want to order?
I may or may not have completely forgotten I pushed the button, and that I had come to Sonic for that Happy Hour Diet Coke.
What does that have to do with Israel and Palm Sunday and the Passion Week?
I think sometimes we get so caught up in our lives, in our busy, in our mundane that Easter, and Palm Sunday, and the week leading up to Good Friday can become lost in another holiday to color some eggs and hide some candy.
I have found myself at Easter week many times with good intentions to truly celebrate what it represents, but getting lost somewhere along the way.
This year, God made sure to tap on the window of my heart. He wanted to make sure I didn’t zone out, sit and forget to “order”.
He took me to Israel a few weeks to walk where Jesus walked. I had been writing a book about the cross. But He let me go to where He carried the cross.
Palm Sunday will never be the same after walking the roads where the people carried the palms.
I want to re-read ever word of what Jesus did in His last week leading up to the cross.
To stand in the Upper Room where Jesus broke bread with His disciples and told them
His body would be broken for them.
His body was broken for me.
For the good days. For the bad days. The Best days. The Worst days.
He was broken so I could be made whole.
One of our first days in Israel we went to the Mount of Precipice. I honestly do not recall ever reading this story in the Bible. In Luke 4:28 the people of Jesus’s hometown were not loving His teaching. He was making them more than slightly uncomfortable with His proclaiming the Scripture was being fulfilled through him.
They rose up and drove him out of the town to the brow of the hill on which their town was built so they could throw him down the cliff. (Luke 4:29).
I stood on that cliff looking over Nazareth.
There was no escape. Nowhere to go but down.
But it was not Jesus’s time. So He did what He could do as Jesus. Verse 30 , “ But passing through their midst He went away.”
I do not know if He vanished, disappeared, or snuck well between the people. All I know is
He could have escaped the cross.
He could have escaped the torture.
He did not have to sweat drops of Blood in the Garden of Gethsemane when He said Father your will be done.
Those blood drops were for me. For you. He sweated blood knowing the next stop was dripping blood. Blood dripping from nail pierced hands.
He knew those who were shouting hosanna would soon be shouting CRUCIFY HIM.
Yet He went there. He walked there. He sat there. And He waited for the arrest He knew was to come.
When I sat in that Garden on the last day of my 33rd year, ( my birthday was the next day) it looked like a simple ordinary garden. With trees that date back 2,000 years ago. I wondered which tree Jesus sat beside as He begged God to take this cup from Him.
As I looked out to where Jesus could have escaped, He whispered to my heart, “ Jenn I did it for you. For her. For Him.”
Friend, I pray you hear God whisper to you today, in the midst of your mundane, your normal, your routine.
I did it for you.
Come awake this Easter. Come alive. Let God knock on the window of your heart.
He did it for you.