Sorrow And Joy Collide: The Journey To The Cross

Sorrow And Joy Collide: The Journey To The Cross March 31, 2024

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Journey to the Cross

The journey to the cross is where sorrow and joy collide. They hated me for no reason.” (John 15:25, CSBJesus was talking to his disciples. He was reminding them that the trials they would experience he had already endured. The disciples did not realize it at that moment, but their lives were about to change.

Travel with me back in time when there was no instant access to the biggest event in history. The news was given by word of mouth.

As word spread of Jesus’s journey to the cross, the following statements could be heard throughout the land.


  • Betrayed by one of his closest friends.
  • Deserted by all his friends.
  • Falsely accused.
  • Beaten by the authorities.
  • Sentenced to death.

Did your ears perk up? Eyebrows raise? Sadly, at some point in our lives we have all been a witness of, exposed to, or taken part in the unjust treatment of others. There is no denying that the world we live in today is different than the world Jesus and the disciples lived in, but humanity is not different.

Betrayed By One Of His Closest Friends

We’ve all experienced it. The person we trusted the most let us down. We were betrayed. Whether they were standing up for something they thought was right or just being mean their betrayal cut deep.

We aren’t alone in this hurt from those who we allow in our inner circle.

Jesus was betrayed too.  

Jesus was enjoying the last meal he would have with his closest friends and amongst them was the man who would betray him. He made some choices the night before he was betrayed.

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, yes, even of the one who would betray him. He sat beside and shared a meal with the man who would betray him. Jesus knew but he loved his betrayer anyway.

Jesus stayed focused on fulfilling his purpose.

I’m not sure if I knew ahead of time that I was about to be betrayed if I could make the same choices Jesus made.

Deserted By All of His Friends

Maybe you’ve experienced this. I know I have. Let’s go back to our childhood. We scan the cafeteria for our friends. We see no one. We’re not quite sure what is going on, so we walk slowly through the crowd, and we overhear someone whisper, “her friends ditched her”.

The sting of rejection overwhelms us.

Jesus was deserted t00.

The disciples and Jesus were in the garden of Gethsemane when Judas entered the garden with the high priests, elders, and scribes. They expected pushback from Jesus and his disciples, the mob, was armed with swords and clubs. Peter reacted just as they expect.

At this point, Jesus had a choice to make. He told his disciples to put their swords away.

It was at that moment he was arrested, and his disciples deserted him. (Matthew 26:56, CSB)

Falsely Accused

It’s happened to me and I’m sure it’s happened to you. Being accused of something that we did not do brings about all sorts of emotions. It can cause us to be angry at the accuser. Confused as to why someone would blame us for doing something we did not do and hurt because people should know us better.

Consequently, thoughts of self-doubt, shame, and what others will think of us swirl in our minds. We may even have conversations in our heads with those who have falsely accused us. We have a choice to make. How are we going to respond to the false accusation?

Jesus was falsely accused too.

In order to follow through with their plans to kill Jesus, the Sanhedrin needed someone to give a false testimony. Sadly, they didn’t have to look very far. (Mark 14:56, CSB)

I’m sure in this moment as he was being accused, Jesus was reeling in his emotions. After all, he loved these people who were betraying him. He healed those who were in the courtyard, eagerly, waiting their turn to paint Jesus in a negative light.

What did Jesus do?

Despite his emotions, Jesus chose to be silent. He knew it was not the right time to answer. (Mark 14:60-61, CSB)

As a matter of fact, when we are falsely accused, we can react on impulse, or we can pray and wait until the time is right to respond.

Beaten By The Authorities

Oh, friend I hope you have never experienced this. The sad reality is many have experienced being beaten by an authority figure. Whether that person with authority was in a paid position, run by the government or someone on a more personal level, like a parent, abuse is not okay.

Abuse causes hurt on many levels and there are no words that can be used to accurately express the pain one feels during and after the abuse. Physical and emotional damage is done.

Jesus was beaten too.

I picture Jesus with his head hung low, arms tied behind his back, sorrow and pain in his eyes as the false accusations were thrown at him. Furthermore, to make things worse they blindfolded him and told him to prophesy as they spit and slapped him. (Luke 22:63-64)

As a result, I’m sure Jesus felt alone. Just as those who have been abused feel alone.

Jesus knows how we feel when we are mistreated.

Sentenced To Death

The verbal and physical abuse continued when they took him to Pilate. Pilate questioned Jesus and he announced to the crowd that Jesus was not guilty.

The chief priests kept accusing Jesus of false charges, so Pilate sent him to Herod. Happy to finally meet Jesus, Herod questions him about the miracles he performed, but Jesus stayed silent.

Though disappointed, but finding Jesus innocent, Herod and his soldiers mocked him and sent him back to Pilate.

Hoping to satisfy the crowd, Pilate had Jesus flogged. The soldiers took it upon themselves to take it a step further and twisted thorns together to make a crown for the “King of the Jews” and dressed him in a purple robe. (John 19:1-2)

In order to please the crowd, Pilate brought Jesus out, and they shouted, “Crucify him!”

Sorrow And Joy Collide

Jesus took up the cross. He staggered under the weight because the burden was too heavy to bear.

Jesus took the time to comfort the women who were crying for him. The road to victory was just ahead.

As soon as the soldiers nailed Jesus’s hands and feet to the cross, they hoisted him vertically for the crowd to see.

Jesus took the time to ask God to forgive the soldiers for crucifying him. 


In spite of his suffering, there was never a moment on his journey to the cross that Jesus was not thinking of others. Even in his final moments, in between two criminals, Jesus gave hope to the one who believed in him.

“Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43, CSB)

The world hated Jesus for no reason. The outsiders did not understand him. The insiders betrayed and deserted him.

Jesus chose to love others anyway.

Jesus chose JOY even when the world brought sorrow.

Sorrow and joy collied when we choose Jesus.

Eventually, our burdens become too heavy to bear. We were not meant to carry them alone, in fact, we can give them to Jesus. I’m thankful for a savior who willingly suffered and died so I wouldn’t have to suffer alone.












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