Those familiar with the Holy Week narrative know Jesus had a busy week. In Bethany, Martha served while Mary anointed His feet. The next day the crowds cheered Him when he entered Jerusalem. Later, He celebrated another meal—His last supper with the disciples. He cried in the Garden of Gethsemane. A close follower betrayed Him. He spent Thursday night in a dark, lonely dungeon. The next day the crowd call for His death. Bystanders spat on Him. Soldiers beat Him.
The Son of God chose to travel the downside of life in order to lead us to a higher standard of living.
Who among us have not dodged the curveballs life throws our way. We have all struggled to stay ahead of the curve, been graded on a curve, and some stay in shape at Curves Fitness Center. But, how many of us know about the Jellinek Curve?
The Jellinek Curve charts the alcoholic’s stages of decline. The upward slope of the curve points to a healthy reversal when an addict admits they have a problem. If you take time to review the progression of addiction on the Jellinek Curve, you will discover the gradual decline of human dignity applies to both the addict and co-addict. As a seasoned enabler, I did not recognize my out-of-control reactions to my husband’s progress disease. My life was unmanageable, and I didn’t even know it. Denial concealed the truth. I was “sicker than the addict.”
With the grace of God, I found Al-Anon. Instead of spending Friday nights with my spouse at the corner bar, I attended support meetings. Afterwards, I met a new circle of friends at a coffee bar. Those were the clearest, most peace-filled Friday nights of my life. There was a Power greater than myself boosting me out of the pit of despair.
During the events of Holy Week, it seemed Jesus would never overcome His steep painful course—and live. As I slipped down the Jellinek Curve, it seemed there was no hope for me either. Yet Jesus’ walk to Calvary was not a slip. It was God’s intentional plan to experience our painful shortcomings. It may be hard to believe, but our Higher Power is with us always. Even when it feels as if we are in a never-ending downward spiral. Hang on and trust.
The pit is no more. The tomb is empty. Easter did happen. His resurrected life frees us from bondage to addiction and sin. Jesus the Christ has gone ahead. He has shown us the way. The choice is ours. We can continue on a downhill slide. Or we can follow His lead to the uplifting arc of life eternal.