A little song for you as you read:
As we are approaching Good Friday (the day Jesus was crucified on the cross) and Easter (his resurrection), I am astounded by what the actual story looks like to me at this point in my life.
It’s funny how we filter stories in the bible with our own life experiences. We see them in different and new lenses as our lives shift and change. I don’t think is actually a bad thing, as long as we keep the truth in front of us.
When Jesus was taken to the cross, his 12 disciples scattered. One had already betrayed him in the garden of Gethsemane, and the rest ran in fear for their lives. Jesus was mistreated, given a sham trial with fake witnesses in the night and the Roman officials couldn’t even find any real charges against him. Pontious Pilate even tried to release him back to the Jews and they would not have it. Jesus was betrayed and crucified by his own people. The very men and teachers who walked around saying they loved God and were the most holy were the ones to nail him to the cross. Well that’s lame. Religious people for the win. Nope.
Jesus was beaten and mocked with a crown of thorns. He was forced after all that, to carry his cross to the hill called, Golgotha to die. Placed between two criminals, he was then pierced for our transgressions. With his mother present, and a handful of those he loved, he let out his last breath. As a mom, I can’t even begin to think what Mary must have felt, but that’s a post for another time. Here’s a link to the whole story, the bible version of course.
In all this chaos, injustice and pain, it seems as though the devil has won, and good has lost the battle. It must have appeared that way to anyone who loved and cared for Jesus, his ministry or even just had a hope that God was really walking among them.
Their Christ was dead.
Their hope was gone.
And they were alone.
Alone to cry in their grief, with no Jesus to comfort them, to guide them, to speak truth to them the way he had over the last three years. As they wrapped his pierced body I’m sure they covered it with tears, feeling like all they had believed in, must have been a lie. How could it have turned out like this? In death? Such disillusionment they must have felt. How was any of this God’s will? What kind of God would send his son, just to die? How is this a Kings burial?
How they must have questioned, yelled, cried and cursed. It all looked lost and hopeless.
And then, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead.
There was a bigger plan all along.
He showed up to his disciples, he showed up to the women who had loved and followed him. Many saw him after his resurrection. He then sent his Holy Spirit to guide and direct those who believed in him. They became alive as well.
All of this. What a tragic, gut wrenching, soul ripping story.
And I think, when has a similar thread played out in my own life? When have I had hopes that didn’t turn out the way I’d believed they would? When did I doubt God’s goodness and his love because things weren’t going my way? When did I doubt that God was really at the wheel of this ship steering it in a good direction?
There are things in my own life right now that don’t make sense. Nothing close to the story of Christ’s death and how hopeless it must have looked, but in seeing this thread, I am reminded that even when things look like chaos, look like the enemy has won, look like God has turned his back and walked away, He hasn’t.
He just has a better story.
I believe there’s a resurrection of life somewhere in my story and I just haven’t reached that chapter yet.
The truth about the enemy is that he comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Every time Jesus is put into a situation, wether it be a dying marriage, a damaged friendship, a rebellious child – he brings hope and life. Just try it. I promise it freaken’ works. You just say, “Jesus, I’m not even sure I know you’re good, I’m not even positive your real or loving or anything that you say you are, but if you are indeed real, would you come into this situation and bring life that I might see that you are real?” It may be slow and grow like a tree from winter to spring, but it always begins with a promise of hope, and always ends in life. If you invite him into any part of your life, you will most certainly see it change for the better.
He is King of resurrecting the very things that sin has killed.
It’s like his deal.
And so I look at some of the situations in my own life, where I had a set of expectations, a list of words strung together as prayers that I believe God heard, and yet even though something different has occurred, I can’t help but think the battle is not over. That there’s something else, something better than what I could see coming around the corner.
I’m sure the disciples plan for Jesus was not the cross. I don’t doubt it. Anyone who’d spent five seconds with Christ and knew him would never dare to imagine he would or could be crucified. And yet, that was God’s redemptive plan.
What is it in your life that God wants to resurrect?
As always, thanks for reading.