Friday, March 25, 2016

Don't Race Ahead

What would it have been like for Jesus' disciples to through the Passover meal, His arrest and crucifixion?

We approach it knowing the end and I wonder if we sometimes miss some of what they must have felt. Some of their confusion and the pain and shock of it all. We miss it because we want to hurry past what's uncomfortable for us.

Looking back, it's easy to see how it all fits together. History allows us to see the whole picture. But, the disciples didn't have that advantage. They had prophecy of the coming Messiah, but they didn't understand how it was all going to work.

Some of Jesus' words would have been shocking to hear in those moments . . .
          . . . one of them would betray Him.
          . . . Peter would deny knowing Him three times.
Yes, we can see that these things did happen.

Some of Jesus' words would have been confusing . . .
          . . . breaking the bread and telling them to eat it because it was His body.
          . . . talking about His blood being poured out for many.
We see the symbolism in this and have Paul's explanations to help us understand.

And what of the pain and sorrow of seeing Jesus beaten and crucified. Their friend. Their teacher. The One for Whom they had given up everything to follow for the last three years.
                          Buried in a borrowed tomb.

But, I also wonder if their excitement at Jesus' resurrection wasn't somehow more because of it all. If their joy wasn't deeper because they experienced the depths of the sorrow and pain they did. If there was something important borne in them out of sitting in that in-between time.

Because we know the end of the story - we know what's coming - I wonder if we too easily race ahead to the resurrection. We want to get to the hope and the joy, so we hurry past Good Friday and the uncomfortableness of it all. But, in doing so, I think we miss out on the depths of the joy of the resurrection.

We call if Good Friday for a reason. Maybe we need to stop and being willing to sit where it's sometimes uncomfortable, because in the middle of that pain and sorrow God was doing the most amazing thing in all of history. And when we really stop to remember the cost, we celebrate the victory of the resurrection in a way we never could have otherwise.

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