Palm Sunday was wild and stormy where I live on the west coast of Canada. It was the kind of day where you make sure you keep your phone charged because it’s pretty likely the power will go out at some point, the kind of day perfectly suited for curling up by the fire with a book (after church that is). Yet in spite of the driving wind, rain, and hail, I felt the Lord inviting me to go walk with him.
The weather became a prophetic backdrop, perhaps a metaphor, for the stormy times we are living in. And as I walked and prayed I felt a prophetic unction rising in my spirit, it seems the Lord has something prophetic to say to the Church as we enter into the week she has always called “Holy Week”. What I hear in my spirit, as a word over this week was simply this:
“Behold the Man”.
As I heard these words I was flooded with awe at their weight, but also the sober instruction and the immediacy that they carried.
This is a holy calling for this week, it’s the Father intervening in our frantic, swirly, brain-fogged, and hyper-distracted lives and gently taking our faces in his hands, turning them to redirect and hold our gaze on this one thing:
Jesus, and then even more specifically, Jesus in his humanity and suffering, the Jesus of the Holy Week.
As the Charismatic and Evangelical wing of the Church, we’ve not looked long at the sight of Jesus in this painful moment— it’s the moment of John 19:5, where Jesus is presented by Pilate to a jeering crowd.
He stood silently, covered in blood, beaten and condemned, robed and crowned in mockery. As a Church we find the scene too hard to look at, it’s too uncomfortable to deeply behold his suffering, so we make Holy Week almost completely about the big Sunday party of Resurrection (which is amazing and wonderful).
Yet, this year, the Lord is saying look, and do more than look—behold—let this sight of raw love, surrender to the Father’s will, and meekness in the face of injustice do a work that needs to be done in our hearts.
Don’t turn your gaze away. Look deeper, look longer, don’t just see, but perceive what’s happening. Behold who he is in this moment, hold onto this gaze as you walk through the week.
Many are saying that the most challenging battle that the Church is facing in this hour is our fight with distraction. Our attention span is now so short, our focus so splintered, yet our need remains, to be shaped and transformed, by who we fix our eyes on (2 Cor 3:18).
Join me this week as we behold the Man.