A nice spring day…warm breezes, birds chirping, plants that have appeared as dead seemingly coming back to life. All is nice, all is serene, all is calm. So nice, in fact, that you decide to eat outdoors…then you lay down in the sunshine and doze, ‘just for a minute’.
Suddenly BOOM! Thunder wakes you up!
Unbeknownst to you, while you were napping, some small clouds started gathering in the west. They grew and formed a thunderhead and now–BOOM again!
You’re in the midst of a storm!
I can’t help thinking that this must have been something like the Disciples went through during what we now call ‘Holy Week’. After all, that Sunday they had been welcomed in to Jerusalem like heroes–the Master, Jesus that is–and the people seemed to want to be around Him and hang on His every word! You felt really privileged to be in the ‘inner circle’–those He let close. You’d been with Him for 3 years, and now it seemed to be just about perfectly timed…He was about to take the next step to lead the people.
Sure, there was some friction with the Jewish authorities, but what else was new? With just a few exceptions, they never liked Him!
There were those things that He had said…things that sort of creeped them out and had them wondering…
“The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” (Luke (9:22)
This seemed so out of place for what was going on right now that they must’ve written it off as Jesus having a bad day.
Surely He was wrong…everything seemed to be going well!
Here they were, Wednesday evening, Thursday morning…they were starting to get ready for the Passover meal–one of their favorite traditions. They couldn’t wait to celebrate it with Jesus again–He seemed to bring something so special to it!
It’s almost as though He took it personally somehow!
The Disciples, as we know, were virtually oblivious to the events swirling around them.
They didn’t know of the conversations the Jewish Leaders were having in the Sanhedrin–the Jewish Leadership Council. They didn’t know that Pilate–the Roman Governor–was being brought into the circle. The unholy alliance between Jerusalem and Rome was being forged specifically to target Jesus…but they had no clue!
It was truly ‘the calm before the storm’.
The storm clouds were gathering. The thunder was starting to roll in the distance. The wind was building.
Soon…BOOM! It would hit!
And then they’d just be happy to survive.
They had no clue.
But Jesus did.
He knew what was coming. He knew, as difficult as it would be, this was what He came for!
Earlier in the week, He’d said to them, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)
Later that night, they’d hear Him say…
“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying,“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26:38-39)
Jesus knew. He knew the storm was coming.
He also knew what would come afterward.
He was ready!
Join us this weekend as we remember what Jesus did, and why it’s so important for us.
Good Friday evening from 6-6:30 we’ll have worship, then watch The Passion Of The Christ from 6:30–8:30, after which we’ll celebrate communion together.
To celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Sunday, we’ll have services at 9:30 and 11:30. These are great opportunities to ask friends, coworkers and neighbors!