On the heels of Resurrection Sunday, I’ve been allowing my imagination to dive a little deeper into the perspectives of those who witnessed that day and the surrounding events. Consider where things stood one week ago today, over 2,000 years ago. The crucifixion of the Savior of the world was taking place.
The Messiah, the promised One had come. He gave sight to the blind, he cast out demons, he raised the dead. He was going to set everything right and things were finally going to be perfect.
Except that they weren’t. On that Good Friday, things got worse. Imagine his followers rejoicing on Palm Sunday, not knowing that Good Friday was right around the corner.
The rumors and rumbles had started to grow louder. At Passover, when he sat with his disciples, he confirmed it all. He told them about the things that were to come. His betrayal, his death. He spoke of leaving. But how could that be? This was the Messiah they’d waited on. It had to have all been so confusing.
I can imagine how his disciples must’ve felt that night as they watched him betrayed by one of their own. And what about those that had personally experienced his miracles, those he taught in the temple, his family, his mom? They watched him tortured and mocked, watched him carry his cross, bloody and weak. Then they saw him on the cross, the suffering Savior. Envision what they must’ve felt watching from afar.
It had to have felt so hopeless at that moment. Blinded by what they saw, I can only assume the heaviness of the defeat and despair they felt. Where would they go from here?
What they didn’t know, was that though all of this was unfolding in what seemed to be a tragic turn of events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, they were actually watching the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. It was part of the plan, in fact it was the plan. It had to be this way. He was going through with it for them. For me. For you.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
We know what they didn’t know. Sunday was coming. Sunday was part of the plan from the beginning as well.
Even greater than the despair that gripped the disciples’ hearts that Friday, was the hope and joy that overwhelmed them that Sunday morning when they found he had risen, just as he said.
Now a week later, the previous events playing over in their minds, still trying to make sense of it all, I imagine them feeling a myriad of emotions. Relief, that their worst fears would never come true. Jesus was alive and he was in fact, the true Messiah. Regret, that they had doubted him and deserted him at the most critical time in his human life. Yet still, overwhelming love and devotion, for the one who sacrificed it all and welcomed them back with open arms even after they’d failed him.
In this week following Resurrection Sunday, I want to remind myself and whoever is reading this, that nothing negates the promise. The situation may be bleak, it may even appear to be going in the opposite direction of the promise. And yes, it’s only human to have an emotional reaction to that. Some things just knock the wind out of you, no matter how close you are to Jesus.
But just like Jesus died and rose again, just like the disciples experienced the worst day of their lives followed by the best day in humanity’s history, in the end the promise will stand. God’s plan will prevail. Jesus is our hope and our promise. He has shown that he does not fail, not even death could defeat him.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Knowing that Jesus is the same God now as he was then, I receive and accept the hope that even in the midst of disappointment, confusion, or heartbreak, no matter what transpires–Sunday is still coming. One week can change everything.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends!