Post – Crucifixion, Pre – Resurrection

Tomorrow is the day in which we celebrate and recognize the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Each year, our family gathers and we eat ham (which actually seems a little funny considering that ham is from a pig and Jesus was a Jew.  This is not a kosher meal to say the least).  Yes, tomorrow will be a busy day of eating, sitting, and enjoying family fellowship.  And yet, I wonder if we will become too busy to reflect on all that has transpired.

I wonder what it was like for those who knew Christ had died on the cross.  I cannot imagine what their hearts must have felt like when all this had transpired.  Did anyone remember the hope of the resurrection that was to take place on the third day or was all hope gone when Christ breathed his last breath?  What do you do when the one who you called Rabbi and friend dies and leaves you behind to sit and ponder?  I wonder if any of the disciples felt almost used by Jesus.  Jesus called them to follow Him.  The calling of Jesus meant that He (Jesus) believed that they (the disciples) could be like Him.  That is significant.  When a Rabbi believed you could be like him that was a really big deal.  So what’s the deal?  How could they be like their dead Rabbi?  How could they possibly wrap their mind around the significance of His death?  I think we too as those kinds of questions – or at least be willing to consider them.

Here are some other questions I would love to know if I could know them:  How did the people respond to the disciples after Jesus died?  Did people look at them differently now that their leader had passed on?  How did they explain the tearing of the separating curtain of the Holy of Holies?  The material of this dividing fabric was so think – how could something divide it?  Did they even understand the significance of that event?  Did life just seem to go on as if nothing happened the day before or were people changed by the events of the cross?  Did any of the disciples go and help bury Judas after he hung himself?  What ever happened to those 30 pieces of silver?  Did Judas use the money to buy the rope in which he hung himself?  What about that thief on the cross?  What was it like for him to enter into Paradise with Jesus that day?  I have so many questions I would love to ask.

When I read the letters of Paul, my mind stops to think of Paul’s message where he writes, “I want to know Jesus, to share in his sufferings and the power of His resurrection.”  I wonder if Paul had an opportunity to read the accounts of this thief on the cross and was almost jealous that this man was able to share in the suffering of Jesus and know the power of the resurrection first hand.  I almost wonder if Paul yearned to be the thief on the cross and experience this mercy, love, and grace that Jesus bestowed upon a man who realized he was not worthy of anything but death.  Oh, to be in the presence of the Almighty Father and Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit – what an amazing sight that must be!  Paul was so desperate to be in the presence of God.  I wonder sometimes if I am as desperate as Paul was.  I wonder if I live my life according to that hope like I know I should.

On this day, the body of Christ lays in a grave, wrapped in stripes of cloth.  Tomorrow, before the sun comes up to its fullest potential, Mary will begin her journey to the place where Christ is buried.  She will bring along with her spices and fragrant to pour on the body.  With everything prepared and ready to go, for now all she can do is rest and try to get some sleep.  Her anxious heart anticipates her responsibility for tomorrow.  I wonder what her prayer was that night before she attempted to close her eyes.  I wonder if she got any real sleep at all.  What I do know is that what she thinks she will find the next day at the tomb of Jesus is not what she will see.  Tomorrow’s events for her will ultimately change the way she understands everything that had transpired the past couple of days.  All at once, everything will click and make sense.  For now, she must get her rest so that she will be able to perform a burial ritual for a man who claimed to be the King of the Jews.  With that, we will close

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