Lent 2024 | Day 27

By Janet Nygren
Day 27 (Friday, Mar 15)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:1-5)

Think about it.

The fourth and final step of this descent into love is feeling the cost of love.2 The experience of suffering, or even death, is not theoretical or metaphorical. There truly is a cost and it can hurt. Jesus so clearly demonstrates this entire process of the descent into love in this foot washing incident. He knew he had come from God (step one). He chose to love his disciples, even Judas, to the end (step two). He saw the opportunity to wash his disciples’ feet and got up to do it (step three). The greatest cost follows on Good Friday, where Jesus literally gives his life. But it must have hurt to look Judas in the eye and then wash his feet as well, knowing what was to come (step four).


As we embrace the J-Curve, it is important to remember that there will be suffering, but it’s OK. As Paul Miller puts it, “all of life is dying and rising.”3 Sometimes that means giving up what makes us comfortable–whether physically or emotionally. As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, he reminds us that dying is not the end of the story. What costs have you absorbed for the sake of love?

Pause and pray.

Jesus, help my love for you grow more and more.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

  1.  Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
  2.  Paul E. Miller, J-Curve (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 158.
  3.  Miller, 158.

1 Comment

Nick Tebordo - March 15th, 2024 at 5:11am

Remembering Paul Miller’s own journey through suffering gives strength and depth as he presents the J-curve. His own son’s death though very painful did not deter him from descending in suffering and rising in resurrection! I too have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and have found that His rod and staff do not fail us! They comfort us as we walk through the valley! I love the often overlooked word “through”. God does not leave us suffering (at the bottom of the J-curve), He leads us THROUGH! He will never fail us!!!




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