The Jesus said to them,
“You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Whenever we find ourselves in distress of trouble, we find ourselves less able to think clearly, to see a way through. This is true whether the cause of the distress is self inflicted or from some other source. The reason for this is that we can’t see the end, we don’t know what will happen, and so we worry, and we work at the problem, and we try to find our own way through.
It’s amazing that at the point when Jesus was looking to the immediate prospect of his crucifixion he is still thinking of and caring for his disciples. “You’re all going to fall away,” Jesus says to them, almost matter-of-factly. Despite the cup that Jesus was about to take, he was aware of how devastated the disciples would be by his apparent failure, by his capture by the Pharisees and the soldiers. Their world, for a time, would completely fall apart.
The reassurance we have is that, just as with the disciples, Jesus already knows the end. Don’t be surprised at times of trouble or distress because Jesus isn’t. Don’t fret over times of trouble or distress because Jesus has plans that go beyond those troubles. Jesus also, matter-of-factly tells the disciples that after he is raised up he will meet with them again. In effect Jesus is telling them, “You are going to be devastated for a brief time, but hold firm, there is an afterwards, there will be a raising and a restoration.”
So, when trials come, remember that they are only a surprise to us, not to God. Remember too that God made us, he knows that we are human. He knows we will fail him; he knows he will restore us. That restoration, as with those first disciples, is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. His victory raises us too.
So, don’t fear in your time of trial, don’t think God is taken by surprise by your circumstances. God sees the end, and the restoration.