A Terrible End, A Beautiful Beginning

Jenna DuBose // Jon Wise Restoration Living

Artist: Jenna DuBose

-Jon Wise

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

"I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the

scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

"Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."

- John 17

Three years.
Three years of sacrifice.
Three years of following and building and reframing.
Three years of cryptic conversations and three years of ever growing crowds.

It must have seemed like this was it; the moment that would make sense of the last three years of teaching and healing and turning convention on it's head: a hero's welcome with palms and coats laid down at the city gate. The streets filled with thousands of pilgrims come to celebrate the Passover. Finally, retreating upstairs to a second floor room to share a meal. But this was more than just a meal—much more. After words about bread and wine and body and blood, came a prayer.

In some ways, this was the beginning of the end.
But in more ways, this was the beginning of the beginning.

The end of His ministry is the beginning of theirs.
The end of His life is the beginning of ours.
The end of His deed is the start of our calling.
The final act of love is a new way of living and breathing and being.

As we wade through Good Friday, and sit in the long, cold silence of Holy Saturday, let’s not lose hope. Everything is not lost—because what should have been a terrible, horrible end is a beautiful and miraculous start. 

Jon is the Worship and Arts Director at Liberti Church and a freelance creative director. He lives with his wife and two sons in Bryn Mawr, PA.

Jenna DuBose lives in West Philly with her husband Travis and enjoys photographing beautiful moments she experiences.