Slow down, Easter Will Get Here In It’s Time
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Luke 13:34–35
It’s Holy Week. In our rear view mirror is the triumphal entry of Palm Sunday. Before us lies Jesus time with the disciples in the upper room, his torment in the garden, his arrest and abandonment, rigged trials, torture, and finally death on a cross.
Actually not finally at all, though it definitely seemed so as Jesus hung on the cross and cried out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
It definitely seemed like the end when Jesus looked out from his cross and exclaimed “It is finished!” It seemed to be so final when three days later two dejected disciples heading home in the reality of past tense hope told a stranger on the road, “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21) When Jesus died on the cross, it seemed final, but in the words of the classic African American sermon, “but that was Friday.” “That was Friday, but Sunday is coming!” Sunday is coming. Easter is coming and has the final word.
Our challenge this week is not to get the too quickly. Slow down, Easter will be here in it’s time — the most important day of the year. But let’s take the time to be with Jesus in the trials of Holy Week. Let’s take the time to enter into his suffering — a not so inviting or easy task, but one crucially important. It is important because our goal is to know Jesus, all of Jesus, and to do so we must identify with him in his suffering and thereby learn to identify with him in our sufferings. We want to know Jesus and the power of his resurrection. And we can! But the fullness of that knowing will not be experienced unless we also know him in his sufferings.
So take some time this week to enter in. Read that passion narrative (toward the end of each Gospel). Sit in silence and ask God about his suffering. Imagine what it would be like to be so misunderstood, so wronged. Imagine what it would be like to have the power to call 10,000 angels to bring justice to the wrong you are experiencing and instead having your heart break for those who are wronging you.
Join us this Friday at 7:00pm for our Good Friday service. It will be an opportunity for you to sit with Jesus in his suffering, to experience the power of the day, the depth and the darkness so that you can fully enter into the freedom and the light of Easter. And remember to bring a friend or neighbor to church with you on Sunday to hear the resurrection message of hope and the good life.
Peace, hope and love