April 21, 2019 - INSCRIPTIONS FROM THE HEART
Take a few minutes to put yourself in the sandals of one of the disciples and imagine…
…your amazement when Jesus, your master, stoops down and washes your feet during the Passover meal, as a servant would wash the feet of his master.
…your confusion when Jesus tells you to eat his body (the bread) and drink his blood (the wine), in remembrance of him.
…your tiredness when you go out to Gethsemane with Jesus, where he tells you to pray with him and you can't even stay awake for an hour to do so.
…your violent anger towards your companion Judas when Judas arrives with an armed crowd to arrest Jesus.
Imagine your wrenching heartbreak at seeing Peter, the one whom Jesus called the Rock that he will build his church upon, vehemently denying any knowledge of Jesus, not once, not twice, but three separate times.
Picture the man whom you called master, followed for three years, and became closer to even than your own family, being labeled a heretic and a blasphemer by the most powerful men in society. Imagine being jostled by the riotous crowd that demanded his life in exchange for the release of a notorious prisoner.
See your master, the one whom your soul loves, scourged and beaten to within an inch of his life, dressed mockingly in a scarlet robe and a crown of thorns, spit upon and ridiculed. Imagine your horror as he is forced to heave a rugged wooden cross to his own execution site. When you think he can take not one step more, he arrives at Golgotha, only to be nailed upon the same cross that he bore all the long way, one nail through each wrist and one through his feet. Watch as even then, soldiers continue to deride Jesus by gambling for his garments.
Finally, imagine your bleak despair as you watch Jesus cry out in agony to his Father in heaven and breathe his last.
Thank you God that it doesn't end there!
Think how you would react upon hearing Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Joanna tell you that the stone covering Jesus' tomb is rolled away and there is no body inside. Maybe there would be confusion, lingering sadness, and likely doubt? But amazingly, two other people corroborate the story and claim to have walked and talked with Jesus, even though you clearly saw him die on the cross only three days ago. Imagine your reaction as you and the other followers discuss this and Jesus appears out of nowhere, right in the middle of your gathering! He shows you his wounds and tells you to touch and feel them, to know that he is truly alive again. Try to fathom the rollercoaster of emotions that you and the disciples feel, going from absolute hopelessness to overwhelming joy at Jesus' resurrection. Imagine also your wonder and amazement as Jesus opens your mind to understand the Scriptures' message, all of it pointing towards him as the Messiah and Saviour of the world.
My prayer is that for those who have never heard the Easter story before, that God reveals Himself to you and opens your mind to discover and believe His Good News. For those who hear it every year or even every week, I pray that the passages take on a whole new meaning for you and that you are changed so profoundly that everyone notices.
Happy Easter everyone!