Day 77 | Be of Good Cheer
February 14, 2015 - WEEK ELEVEN
Carl Heinrich Bloch, Gethsemane, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
There is no scripture reading assigned today. Use this day to catch up as needed and ponder the supplemental reading.
In the moonlit silence of that Near Eastern night, every acute pain, every heartfelt grief, every crushing wrong and human hurt experienced by every man, woman, and child in the human family was to be heaped upon his weary shoulders. But in such a moment, when someone might have said it to him, he rather says to us, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
“Ye shall be sorrowful,” he said—sad, lonely, frightened, and sometimes even persecuted, “but your sorrow shall be turned into joy… Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:20, 33).
How can he speak that way? Of good cheer and joy? On a night like this? With the pain he knew was just ahead? But those are the blessings he always brought, and that is how he always spoke—to the very end.
We cannot know to what extent his disciples fully understood the approaching events, but we do know that Christ faced his final moments alone. In one of the truly candid comments he would make to his brethren, he said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matt. 26:38). And he left them to do what only he could do. The Light of the World stepped away from human company and entered the garden grove to wrestle with the prince of darkness alone. Moving forward, kneeling, falling forward on his face, he cried with an anguish you and I will never know, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matt. 26:39). But he knew, for our sakes, that it could not pass and that he must drink that bitter cup to the dregs!
His disciples, understandably, were weary and soon fell asleep. What of Christ’s sleep? What of his fatigue? What rest or slumber will sustain him through such an agonizing ordeal? That is simply not his concern here, nor does it ever seem to be. He will endure. He will triumph. He will not falter nor fail us….
I testify that having loved us who are in the world, Christ loves us to the end. His pure love never fails us. Not now. Not ever. Not ever (Jeffrey R. Holland, “He Loved Them unto the End,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 25–26).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- How does learning of Jesus’ final days prepare you for Easter?
- How do you feel when you read about Jesus’ last week, sad? mad? happy? grateful?