Men….it’s now Wednesday of Holy Week. Is this the calm before the storm of the last few days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday…. leading us up to Sunday’s Easter Celebration?
Let’s quickly review the events so far.
Last Sunday, “Palm Sunday”, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. He is once again the unassuming King even though the fanfare seems equal to others coming from more traditional royalty. Jesus is reaching rock star status!
Next on Monday, Jesus drives the money changers out of the temple. Famously, the Bible says He chased out the others from the temple saying, “My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers.” Some accounts of Monday describe Jesus as angry, driving out the sellers with a whip.
On Tuesday, Judas is approached by the chief priests where he agrees to betray Jesus. An agreement is reached, money exchanged, and Judas waits for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowds might be present.
Now….we’ve reached Wednesday. Nothing happened on Wednesday, right?
Wait a minute. This is one of the most famous weeks in the Bible and you mean to tell me nothing happened on one of the days? Were the Biblical scribes of the time asleep on Wednesday? Did something happen, and the records just get lost?
I suppose the answer is up for interpretation.
Consider this as you ponder some other messages in the events leading up to the Resurrection. Maybe, Jesus and his followers were simply exhausted. It had been a very busy last couple of days. Parades in Jerusalem. Getting a little postal on the merchants in the temple. Perhaps it’s not a far stretch to believe that the human emotions of needing rest consumed Jesus.
Human. Sometimes we get lost in the fact that Jesus walked this earth as a human. He experienced emotions, highs and lows, anger and joy. He probably got sick every now and then too.
Maybe, too, Jesus, the “human”, was having some doubts about what he was supposed to do in order to fulfill our Father’s promise: Sending His only son to wipe away our sins. If you knew your death was quickly approaching, wouldn’t you take a day to “stay under the radar”?
Admittedly, I have many days where I have doubts in God’s promise to us. We live in a broken world and that creates many broken people. I’m no different. We know what’s promised at the end….but yet, we ignore that message.
This year, as you celebrate the Resurrection story, give some thought to the calm that occurred in the middle of the week. Jesus takes a pause, briefly, to collect his thoughts. Here’s the good news, however. Like many of us, Jesus was perhaps at a crossroad. He chose to fulfill his Father’s promise. And we are all forgiven as a result of that decision. How hard can it be for us to pick up our own crosses in daily life with a more dedicated focus on God’s promise?
My prayer this week as we take a “break” from a Friday gathering is not only for the blessings of this Easter season, but also that we remember Jesus walked among us as “human”, knows any possible situation we might experience, and yet died for our sins that we might enjoy everlasting life.
It’s okay to have doubts. It’s God’s way of calling attention to times when you need to “pause” and allow time to reflect.
Next week, we’ll gather and begin a new study. After considering many of your inputs, I’m going to recommend we follow Robert Shaw’s suggestion of digging into some weekly devotionals. To that end, I’d like for us to go on a 90-day journey of devotionals. Each week, we’ll read the seven devotionals in the book below…..Saturday after our weekly gathering through the next Friday’s planned gathering. And each week, I’d ask that one person from the group plans to lead the lesson on that Friday.
And it’s a clean white page every week. When it’s your turn to lead, you can cover all seven devotions, a handful, or simply one that spoke to you.
Simple stuff….and I know we’re up to the task.
90 days. That’s my commitment I’m asking each of you to join me on starting Friday….April 9th.
Here’s the book for you to purchase in advance:
Blessings this Easter season!