They were on the way going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on in front of them; and they were bewildered and perplexed and greatly astonished, and thos [who were still] following were seized with alarm and were afraid. And He took the Twelve [apostles] again and began to tell them what was about to happen to Him, [Saying], Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be turned over to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn and sentence Him to death and turn Him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and whip Him and put Him to death; but after three days He will rise again from death].
You had a life inside you
Conquering the death
That separated us
From the beauty we had known
You became in that moment
Everything we are
Now we’re alive
When we read about the life of Jesus we rarely consider the circumstances surrounding the disciples who were following him. Most of them had absolutely no idea what he was going to do. They had long been expecting a Savior to come and to set them free them from Roman rule—a conquering King, a hero that would take power from Rome and restore Israel to its former glory.
Imagine their distress when he said to them, “I am going to allow myself to be killed. The victory you long for is not yet to be.”
Not much has changed. Our human hearts still long for victories that are no yet to be. For example, the limitations and suffering that we experience because of our humanity cause us to cry out for our King to come. We know that we are not yet as we should be; he has not yet made all things new.
The victory Jesus accomplished for us on the cross was victory over the power of sin. Jesus rescued us from oppression and fear and made it possible for us to engage with the God whose powerful presence had always been too much for our sin sick souls to endure. He came to enable us to serve him without fear by clothing us in his own righteousness so that we could not only boldly approach the throne of God but we could actually become living temples ourselves where the presence of God could flow freely in and through us.
It’s important to understand the purpose of God otherwise when he allows suffering and pain instead of the victory we expect we will become offended and perhaps even question the very faith that leads to ultimate healing. The disciples were perplexed and afraid, thinking that if Christ was allowed to suffer and die everything they longed for would die, too. Jesus did not criticize them for their questions and doubts, he knew they couldn’t possibly understand yet. He continued to lead and to teach and to try to prepare them for the inevitable. Those who remained and continued to believe were gifted the greatest surprise ever given to anyone: the living Christ, resurrected and whole, standing before them, breathing on them and commissioning them to share his message of eternal life and hope wherever they went.
Our humanness has never been offensive to God. Our limitations and weaknesses have never caused him to withdraw. But our sin, our desire to rule ourselves, caused a separation only God himself could fix. The disciples didn’t understand this at first; but once they did they shared it with everyone.
If there are things in the Scripture that perplex or even scare you choose to cling to the things that do not—for now. Don’t allow your human reasoning to keep you from continuing to follow Jesus. The seeker always finds. Someday, the living Christ will stand before you and all will be revealed.
May your life inside us
Conquer all the death
That separates us
From the beauty we could know
May we be in this moment
One with who you are
Make us alive