godsplaybook

God’s Playbook

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5)

When the disciples witnessed Jesus being crucified, they didn’t know it was “Good Friday” and likely would have be appalled that someone would refer to it as such.  They didn’t watch the nails being driven into Jesus’ wrists and feet, as they high-fived each other, declaring “Sunday’s comin’!”  When they felt the earth tremble as Jesus took his last breath, they weren’t filled with the expectation that they’d be skipping around singing, “Hallelujah, Jesus is alive! Death has lost it’s victory and the grave has been denied” just 3 days later. No.

Sure, they heard Jesus talk about being “the resurrection and the life”.  They heard him dare the pharisees to “destroy this temple” and promise to raise it up 3 days later.  They heard him tell them the time had come for him to be “offered up.” They heard all that.  But still… they didn’t have any context for what they were now seeing.  None of THAT really prepared them for THIS.

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46)

This was arguably and literally the darkest day in history; a day when even the sun refused to shine.  Their leader, their teacher, their Lord… their… friend… had just been brutally assassinated before their eyes. They felt defeated. They were confused. They were shaken. There was nothing good about that day.

From the foundations of the world, the victory was already won. The fight was fixed. The Master Strategist at work.  But in that moment, it looked like a total loss. A brutal defeat. A complete and utter failure.

Yet, I have to wonder what kind of hope they had in their heart.  I have to wonder if, in spite of what they saw, they feared this might be the end.  It must have been a dramatic juxtaposition to everything they were seeing with their eyes and feeling, but I have to wonder what they still believed.

And what about the day in between?  What about “Saturday”?  What about the day they just sat.

And hoped.

And wondered.

And tried to breathe.

And through tear-stained faces, shallow breaths and grief-stricken embraces… waited. ctt-tbird

What about… “the middle”?

To understand the purpose of the cross you have to be able to see it as well as see past it.  The cross was weighty and crucial, but it was not the end. It reminds me that there is always more than what I am seeing.  It reminds me to hope, in spite of what I feel.  It reminds me to remember the cross, but not to stop there.  It reminds me to breathe in life, embrace the moment and wait.  The cross reminds me that maybe, just maybe, this is not the end.

In God’s playbook, sometimes winning looks like losing. ctt-tbird

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Grant JenkinsGod’s Playbook
11 comments
triprolo
triprolo

I've often wondered about their Saturday too. I thought this was a great reflection Grant!

Makeda
Makeda

Incredible reflection into what the disciples must have been feeling. I had never considered whether they hoped as they waited; even in their darkest hour did hope linger? A thought provoking question for sure. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

aaron shaver
aaron shaver

Wow. Amazing reflection on what the disciples went through. We often forget they had NO previous context for the Messiah's death, burial, and resurrection except the scriptures which we interperet in hindsight.

And I'm really struck by your focus on Saturday, "the day they just sat." How often do we feel like all we can do is sit wondering if God knows what's going on when, in reality, Sunday is coming soon!
.-= aaron shaver´s last blog ..In The Absence of Communication… =-.

alece
alece

from where we sit, the saturday wait isn't so bad. because we know the ending. we've seen how it all plays out. we know about the empty tomb. but in the midst of their saturday, they had no idea. it was just painful and dark and confusing.

which gives me so much hope for the days i feel that very same way.
My recent post death and life

susan
susan

Grant, this concept of seeing, thinking, feeling through the eyes and hearts of those with Christ has been on my heart for many months. It is a perspective which adds even more depth, another layer of insight, to amazing sacrifice.

We each reach points in our journey when we see dimly, the path is rigorous, the view obscured if not darkened.... just as the disciples must have felt. But we have the advantage. We know that not only can God see the way... He has prepared the path.

Insightful Good Friday post. Thanks so much.
My recent post Easter Shoes

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thanks, Makeda. I still wonder even know, what does hope look like in waiting? When tempted to despair, can hope grasp us before our heart implodes? Inquiring minds want to know... :)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

You're right, Aaron. NO previous context. And even for as much as Jesus said to them, I have a hard time believing that any of it really prepared them for the horror they witnessed. And yes, sometimes it does feel like we are just sitting and waiting.. waiting and sitting... waiting. Giving some insight to this story has helped me process some ares of my life where I feel like I am just "sitting", waiting as well.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

it gives me hope as well. But I also think, even with the context of the empty tomb, I can be prone to let my heart be swayed and feel hopeless. I can only imagine how much more hopeless they must have felt not knowing what was next.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thanks so much for your comments, Susan. I appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by the blog! :)

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