“Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”Mark 8:38
The Gospels paint a stark picture of what it means to stand courageously with Christ. When his words about the Son of Man suffering at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and the scribes came to pass, reality became unbearable for most of the disciples. One betrayed him and eleven ran away at the scene of arrest in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:50).
Peter and John witnessed Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, but as their master was being mocked and spat upon, Peter heard himself denying the Lord three times. At the second cock crow he broke down and wept, for Jesus had told him earlier that evening: “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times” (Matthew 26:34; Mark 14:30; Luke 22:34; John 13:38).
At the foot of the cross, only one out of twelve stood with Jesus to the end—John the beloved disciple—along with Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and some other women who accompanied him in his final agony. Their faithfulness illustrates the truth of this proverb:
A friend is a friend at all times,Proverbs 17:17
and a brother is born for the time of adversity.
A Spirit-filled Peter after Christ’s resurrection and ascension exhorted the Church to faith and perseverance in the shadow of the Cross:
Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.1 Peter 4:12-14