matthew

Chapters 26-28

When I read these chapters, there is a sense of hurtling relentlessly to the Cross. Time seems to slow down. One prophecy after another is fulfilled. Everything that happened before leads up to these last few hours. When I picture the events in my mind, they are in darkness, and not only because of the time of day – there is an ugly, dark and thuggish mob mentality at play: the crowd at his arrest, the crowd before Pilate, and the battalion (v.27) which I hadn’t noticed before. Jesus is hauled before each one, to be insulted, taunted, tortured. In the mix are a number of strange, curious happenings in the time leading up to the Cross: the woman annointing Jesus, the “certain man” in whose home they hold Passover, and Judas’s betrayal. What prompted each of these people to do what they did? How did they know, either where to go, or what to do? How did the woman know where to find Jesus? Did she have any idea of the significance of her actions? How did the man know to leave the upper room vacant? Did he know someone would come to him? And what about Judas? What led up to his betrayal? I doubt that it was a spontaneous decision; these kinds of acts rarely are. Had his thoughts been tormenting him for a while? And what of his remorse? I often wonder if we will we see him in Heaven. And the strangeness of the Jesus’ death: the temple curtain ripped top to bottom, tombs opening, people long dead being raised and walking around town. It’s all so weird. No wonder people think we are nuts to believe. For me, I find the death and resurrection very bewildering because I don’t understand it all, but I also sense that somehow it’s all part of the great mystery of God. It’s a puzzle that I don’t expect to truly or fully understand how all the pieces click into place, or even what all the pieces are, until we stand before him face-to-face and experience the greatest ‘A-ha!’ moment of all time, and all eternity. It’s just like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” I know the Cross is about love and grace. I get it, but I don’t get it. There is something more – something glorious – and yet I can’t quite put my finger on it; I can’t name it … yet. [08-03-2008]

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