Day 91 | Man of Sorrows
January 1, 2015 - WEEK THIRTEEN
James Tissot, Jesus Bearing the Cross, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.
There is no scripture reading assigned today. Use this day to catch up as needed and ponder the supplemental reading.
No, it is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm. Always remember in that biblical story that He was out there on the water also, that He faced the worst of it right along with the newest and youngest and most fearful. Only one who has fought against those ominous waves is justified in telling us—as well as the sea—to “be still.” (Mark 4:39; see also D&C 101:16.) Only one who has taken the full brunt of such adversity could ever be justified in telling us in such times to “be of good cheer.” (John 16:33; D&C 68:6). Such counsel is not a jaunty pep talk about the power of positive thinking, though positive thinking is much needed in the world. No, Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them. But even as the Lord avoids sugary rhetoric, He rebukes faithlessness and He deplores pessimism. He expects us to believe!
No one’s eyes were more penetrating than His, and much of what He saw pierced His heart. Surely His ears heard every cry of distress, every sound of want and despair. To a degree far more than we will ever understand, He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Mosiah 14:3; Isa. 53:3). Indeed, to the layman in the streets of Judea, Christ’s career must have seemed a failure, a tragedy, a good man totally overwhelmed by the evils surrounding Him and the misdeeds of others. He was misunderstood or misrepresented, even hated from the beginning. No matter what He said or did, His statements were twisted, His actions suspected, His motives impugned. In the entire history of the world no one has ever loved so purely or served so selflessly—and been treated so diabolically for His effort. Yet nothing could break His faith in His Father’s plan or His Father’s promises. Even in those darkest hours at Gethsemane and Calvary, He pressed on, continuing to trust in the very God whom He momentarily feared had forsaken Him (Jeffrey R. Holland, “A High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 36).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus experienced all the dark feelings we fear?
- Do you feel forever grateful that He overcame all negative feelings and completed his mission?
- What can you do to make this the best Easter ever? Hint: it probably involves what you will do for others.