Matthew 17

17 Feb

Matthew 17:22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

Sometimes it feels confusing to be a follower of Jesus. Life can be full of disappointments and questions. Apparently this isn’t a 21st century thing but a 1st century thing as well. Jesus announces that he is going to be betrayed (later we would find it is one of them) and will be executed. Of course this is bad new and there should be grief accompanied by sadness. But Jesus also announced that he would be raised back to life. Shouldn’t that grief also hold hands with joy/hope?

Apparently not. The grid for the understanding of the Jewish Messiah/Christ was one of power and victory. The Messiah/Christ would come and destroy God’s enemies which just happened to be Israel’s enemies and set up an eternal kingdom of shalom. Death wasn’t really an option. A dead Messiah was a failed Messiah. Because the Messiah would be defined by victory over the enemy. This is the world view of the first followers of Jesus.

So while Jesus mentions resurrection all they can hear is death.

Paul says that God works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). Not that all things that happen are good but all things God can use for good.

There are a lot of terrible moments in life and unbearable things that I’ve heard others go through that it is almost unimaginable how God could use this for good.

It is often difficult to hear words of resurrection in moments that feel like crucifixion.

Lent, the season that begins tonight with Ash Wednesday, is a time that the church dwells on this. That Jesus entered time and history and felt pain, sorrow and anguish that we all feel and comes through the other side through the resurrection. Lent is called the Bright Sadness because it is a time that we remember the sufferings of Jesus but we always frame them within the context of the resurrection.

Lent is a time of acknowledging that we experience Friday moments in life (the crucifixion) but we know that Sunday is coming (the resurrection).

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