BY REV. DORAL PULLEY
Scripture Reference – Luke 22:44
Death is the unknown. We often fear what we have never experienced. Like most people, Jesus Christ was afraid of death. Although he had raised others from the dead like Lazarus and Jarius’ daughter, he had not experienced death personally. In his spirit, he knew the power and promise of resurrection but in his humanity, he was afraid.
Jesus said, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).” When he looked into the cup and saw death, he prayed to avoid his fear rather than to face it. “Let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but thy will be done (Matthew 26:39).”
Jesus Christ knew the only way to overcome his fear was through prayer. He called for the support of his disciples to pray with him. He kept praying the same prayer over and over again until he was free from his fear. Jesus Christ overcame his fear of death, not on the cross, but in the Garden of Gethsamane. By the time he was crucified, he was empowered through prayer to be our Wayshower even in the midst of transition.
Through his resurrection from the dead, he not only conquered death but he also took the sting out of death for all humanity. We can now transition from abundant life to eternal life without fear. “O death where is your sting. O grave where is your victory (I Corinthians 15:55)?”
I remembered how afraid I was when I first moved to St. Petersburg three years ago. Although I knew that God called me to this city and to the Unity Temple of Truth Church, I was scared because I had never lived outside of Baltimore. Through the power of prayer, I followed Jesus’ example and the fear left. Now, St. Petersburg is my new home and I AM grateful for the holistic growth of our church.
Reflection Question: How does Jesus Christ’s example empower you to overcome any fears that you may have?
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity Temple of Truth Church, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg.