26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.’[a]
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice[b] you yourself will disown me three times.”
The words must have stung.
His closest followers, the very ones who said they would follow him anywhere, even to death, these were the ones that Jesus said would betray him.
We know, looking back at the story from our perspective, that is exactly what happened. We also know that, after Christ’s resurrection, these key individuals would come to realize the full depth, and power, of Christ’s love. They would accept that love in a new a powerful way, accept his forgiveness of their betrayal, and go one to follow him anywhere, even to death, and beyond.
At the time, however, they did not know what would happen. They had to go through the experience for it to impact them as it did – and change their lives – and the world – forever.
The same is true for us. We cannot always know exactly where God is leading. We cannot know all of the joyful and painful experiences we will have as God forms us into his people. We can only experience it and learn. We have to live it out.
During this year’s Lenten journey I invite you to be open to that powerful opportunity. Pray that you can be open to where God is leading, right now.
You may go through some painful times. You may go through some joyful times. You may have some of your worst traits, your deepest fears, exposed. You may have questions that seem unanswerable. I believe, however, that if you are willing to follow God will take you into a new, deepening relationship with him.
That…can change everything.