Following Jesus on the path towards spiritual health sometimes leads us up mountaintops. Here, God’s presence is a tangible experience, and activities like prayer, scripture reading, and worship are fulfilling. However, as we continue to follow Jesus, we will inevitably be confronted with His crucifixion on the hill called Cavalry. This may seem like a place that leads to spiritual death, not life. Yet, as we follow Jesus up this hill, we will uncover a level of spiritual health we can’t find anywhere else.

Discussion Questions

Have you ever felt, or had a conscious awareness of, God’s presence? How would you describe that experience to someone?

Are our feelings always an accurate measurement of our spiritual health? Is it possible to have pleasant feelings when we’re spiritually immature and painful feelings when we’re spiritually mature? Why?

God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere at the same time. That said, why do you think we sometimes feel His presence as an absence (Psalm 22)?

If there was someone in your life who felt as if God were absent, how would you encourage them (Psalm 23 & 24)?

What have you discovered about God in seasons of life when He has felt absent?

Further Reading

A Beautiful Thing

As Jesus prepared for the cross, an unnamed woman responded to Jesus with faith in a unique way. She understood truth about Jesus that eluded other disciples and gave Jesus an extravagant gift. Let’s remember how her example teaches us to follow the Lord with faith...

Stay Awake

Throughout His time on earth, Jesus' disciples asked Him many of the same questions that we find ourselves wrestling with today. Instead of giving a direct and clear response to their questions, Jesus focused more on the heart and attitude of His followers. We have...

Death and Taxes

Death and taxes are two of life’s certainties, and Jesus responded to questions about those topics to redirect our attention to timeless truth. Remembering the source and owner of all the parts of our life, as well as life itself, radically changes our perspectives....

Divine Authority

While Jesus entered conflict with religious leaders over his authority, he also revealed significant truth about his mission, God’s good gifts, and our responsibilities. What can Jesus’ teaching, storytelling, and confrontation with religious authorities teach us...

Foreshadowing

Jesus approaches Jerusalem with a loud celebration, but when he enters the Temple courts no one seems to notice. His strong actions both privately and publicly demand attention and response. Jesus’ triumphal parade into Jerusalem, a withered fig tree, and Jesus’...