Never put a period where God has placed a comma.
— Gracie Allen (1895-1964)
It was the prelude to the darkest time ever. Jesus, who just a couple of days before had been cheered with “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” was on the verge of being executed.
“Ecce Homo!” said Pontius Pilate — “behold the Man!”. Beaten, bloodied, humiliated and mocked, His only response to an accusation — that He was King of the Jews — was to tell Pilate, “It is as you say.”
And not long afterwards, He was given the Cross to start the long hike to Golgotha.
For those who were there, it was over. The religious leaders who wanted Him eliminated figured they’d won. Satan, of course, thought he’d finally subverted God’s Grand Plan. The disciples who’d believed in Jesus were gutted, left wondering what this had all been about. And the people who were on the fence, who cried “Hosanna!” one day and “Crucify Him!” the next, figured another charlatan had come and gone.
“Behold the man!” said Pilate. And God said, “Now – prepare to behold ME!“
One of the more famous sermons (you can read and listen to it here) is by Rev. Dr. S.M. Lockridge (1913-2000). It carries the theme, “It’s Friday – but Sunday’s comin’!”
It applies to Jesus’ death and resurrection — and it applies in any situation we face. The scene at the Cross — and before it, in Pilate’s court — was only The Great Comma.
And how did Jesus face it? That’s the next thing we need to remember: He “took it like a man”, facing His accusers and His agony with the same tools we have when we receive the Holy Spirit. The darker things got, the more He turned to the light. In Gethsemane, He could have cut and run, chickening-out: He could have slammed that “cup” to the ground and walked away. He could have looked at that angry mob and said, “Forget the lot of you! I’m outta here!” He could have cursed God and died.
But He didn’t. He would have seen that mob, and even His accusers and Pilate and all the others, as sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). His compassion was stronger than His agony. And so, He stayed faithful and obedient to His Father, knowing that something much bigger was going down. The greater the pain, the more He prayed. The greater the injustice, the more He trusted. The further He felt from God — the less He felt like King of Kings and Lord of Lords — the closer He drew to Him.
That’s the example for us. If Jesus can do that through His darkest time, we can do it through whatever we’re facing. As we draw closer to God, He will draw closer to us (James 4:8) and give us the strength to face the immediate and the miraculous breakthrough that takes us past our current situation and into something new, more wonderful and totally unlike anything we could have imagined.
You may be facing “Friday” … but SUNDAY’S COMIN’!
Whatever “period” you’re in right now — remember that it’s only a comma.