• Kim Wolfe

The Jesus Tests


Broken. When I hear that word, broken, I recall how I see people who attend my grief recovery groups or one on one sessions. They have all endured an array of losses and they feel broken, torn, hurt, lost, rejected, judged, betrayed, alone, and abandoned.


Some will confess they are angry at God for the array of loss they are going through. The dark valley they are attempting to feel their way through. They have stated that they are losing hope and faith in everything. I sit quiely and listen to each person struggling for the words to express the emotions they are facing during a dark season of grief.


"If God is so loving and gracious, why did he allow this to happen?" I have heard this statement more than a hundred times now. Every time I hear a hurting person make this statement, I begin to see images of what love did on a very special day more than 2,000 years ago. An image I still cannot wrap my mind around what 'love' truly repesents, and the array of events that led up to the ultimate sacrifice that love displayed that day.


Think on this with me for a moment. Jesus, the darling of Heaven, knew death was immenent. He took his disciples to the garden and asked them to pray. He went to a seperate area and began to pray to God, the Father. Fear must have been gripping as his sweat contained blood, dripping down his face. He was in the midst of knowing that the worlds sins were about to be placed upon him in order to save the souls of the entire world.


Personally, when I think of all the horrific evil that we see and hear about each day, murder, rape, trafficking, crimes against humanity, theft, and the personal sins we are each guilty of like judgements, swearing, addictions, wrath, rejecting others, and just our mere thoughts sometimes can be pure evil. He died for that too as no sin is greater than another in his eyes. We are all sinners. Period. So now that the understanding is clear, that none of us are any better or worse than another, let's continue with what love did for us.



Betrayal. Have you ever been betrayed? Now here's a test of all tests. Betrayal showed up with a group of Roman soldiers to make the arrest, in the very garden the disciples fell asleep, after Jesus asked them to pray, and Jesus was sweating great droplets of blood as he pleaded with the Father, "Abba Father, if it be your will, take this cup from me. But not my will be done, but your will be done." It was obvious that the Father of Heaven had his will in place to sacrifice his only son for our redemption. Jesus was arrested and taken into custody. The Pharisees of the church screamed, "Cruxify him!" A murderer named Barrabbas was set free and Jesus was sentenced by he church. Judgement was given and the crowd screamed louder.


A strange thing happened before that day. Jesus appeared at the chuch prior and set all the sacrifices made to the church free. He flipped tables over and displayed his discust with the leaders of the temple. He was making it very clear that this would no longer be a requirement for sinners. The events to follow would be left up to each of us to simply believe. He died for our sins, past, present and future. He was beaten beyond recognition, stripped naked and humiliated for all to witness, mocked, and spat upon. He was denied by his own disciples and the people who had witnessed the array of miracles he had freely given. He turned water into wine, he healed the sick, he cast out demons, and raised the dead. Yet many denied him in fear of the political actions they were now witnessing. Starting to sound a little familiar at this point, stay with me for a minute and I'll explain.


No longer would his works be allowed to be perfomed. He was isolated, wrapped in burlap and the wounds from the beating he received bled through. He was given the cross to carry through the crowds on the way to Calvary. He stumbled and fell beneath the weight of that cross to the point where a guard yelled out for someone to help him carry that cross. The destination was finally reached and his hands and feet were nailed and bound by three nails. The cross was erected and the wait for death to appear began.


There were two theives on each side of him. One asked, "Can you prepare a place for me in your Kingdom?" Jesus replied, "Today, I will see you in paradise." The other thief laughed and mocked him. This would represent that one would be taken, and the other left. Again, it represents that all we have to do is simply believe.


Below, Jesus witnessed the guards casting lots for his garments, and he made arrangements for his mother, and his disciple, John, to care for one another. He looked up and yelled out, "Abba, Abba, why has thoust forsaken me?" He was coming into the reality that his own death would separate him from the Father as his spirit was being prepared to plunge into the depths of hell and command the keys to gates to set the captives free. Satan was defeated with this very act of love.



The tomb in which his body was prepared for burial was borrowed. His broken body placed inside, shrouded and anointed with precious oils. Guards were sent to seal the tomb and stand at attention to make certain his body was not stolen. Jesus had previously declared that he would be resurrected as the Messiah of the world. His crown of thorns was replaced with the crown of glory. The women whom had follwed him, went to the tomb to anoint his body, and when they arrived, the stone had been rolled away. An angel appeared and said, "He is not here, for He has Risen!" The guards were baffled and the women ran to tell the others of The Good News.



The empty tomb. The recent pandemic has revealed much to my own spirit. I have come to realize that the dark forces have become desperate as they muzzled believers, emptied our place of worship, sent plagues and pestilences upon the world. The isolation took its toll on many, as suicide rates climbed. A loss of hope as fear became rampant. Jesus knows that fear as he faced his own death. He warned us not to be afraid and to fear not 365 times in scripture. Remember the droplet of blood he sweated in the garden as he prayed?


Take a look back as to how this time of the Holy Week looks very familiar. We all know what it's like to pick up our own cross and carry it. When it gets overwhleming, someone comes along to help us carry it so that we are not crushed beneath it. The recent times we are witnessing is showing us yet again when the church and politics mesh. We all have sensed the fear of what we are told to do, even when our gut tells us, this is so wrong. We have been divided because we have allowed it. We have been labled because we never spoke out ... How could we speak with that mask covering? They yelled, "Follow the science!" I ask, where's the science behind the mask? We have witnessed good being called evil and evil being called good.


Take a look back as to how this time of the Holy Week looks very familiar. We all know what it's like to pick up our own cross and carry it. When it gets overwhleming, someone comes along to help us carry it so that we are not crushed beneath it. The recent times we are witnessing is showing us yet again when the church and politics mesh. We all have sensed the fear of what we are told to do, even when our gut tells us, this is so wrong. We have been divided because we have allowed it. We have been labled because we never spoke out ... How could we speak with that mask covering? They yelled, "Follow the science!" I ask, where's the science behind the mask? We have witnessed good being called evil and evil being called good.


Matthew 24 speaks about the signs of his coming. I encourage you to re-read it today. We are living in a time where the wheat is being seperated from the shaff. The goats are being seperated from the sheep. What we are witnessing is the that feeling of rejection as we watch friends and family being deceived, and we feel betrayed as they lash out and label us religous heritics because we speak out against evil. That rejection wound is deep. We feel naked, alone, betrayed, wounded and broken. we witness those we love boast about their rights, as they follow their science, and claim how wrong we are for beliving what we believe.


Keep in mind that when Barrabbas was chosen over Jesus that day to be set free, Jesus never defended himself. I do my best to follow that example. I have been labled, called a racist, a Jesus freak, a trouble maker, and have been told I am mean because I stand for what I believe. I'm perfectly okay with that as I am reminded that Jesus spoke and asked the Father of Heaven to forgive them for they know not what they do. That's really hard sometimes when you're feelings are hurt and your heart is breaking. It's a process that we all need to do better including myself.



He Has RISEN!

This is what the Good New is all about! I pray we all try a little harder to stop the blame game we are playing, and use Jesus as our blueprint in life. Instead of asking, "WHY is this happening?", ask ... "What are you teaching me Lord?"


Jesus gave us all an array of examples to follow. These are what I call, The Jesus Tests. I have failed them all at times. I was asking why instead of trying to learn the lesson. If you are a believer, then you realize that you are part of the body of Christ. The Bride he is about to take into his care for eternity. He is in the process of adorning his bride for that very special wedding feast. Do you see how close we are? Do you see the signs of his return? Are you able to discern good from evil? How deep have you gone into his word? He wants to teach you so much and I am still learning and growing. I am nowhere close to his perfection. I don't think I could ever be perfect, because if I were, I probably wouldn't pray, or feel the need for his presence.


There are days when I go outside, look up to the sky, and ask, "Is today the day?" My own spirit is feeling the yearning to be close and personal with the Lord. As much as I love my children, grandchildren, family and friends, I find myself living in a world I simply don't understand. Then I open His Word, and he gives me the understanding I am lacking.


So if you're mad at God during a time of grief, just know he gets where you're coming from. God gets blamed for a lot of things lately. I think it's because we are seeing more evil than we can handle. It may get worse before it gets better. Darkest before the dawn so we're told. I encourage you to not to lean on your own understanding. Trust that the times we are living have been foretold. God has all of our tomorrow's in His hands. The greatest act of love has already happened. Our role is to believe, trust, share our faith and help one another through the dark times. Be a cross bearer to someone even if they are a stranger to you.


May we all feel the love of Christ during this most Holy Week.


From HIS heart, to yours.


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