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LENT: 4.8

If it bleeds, it leads

I am reflecting on this the day after monstrous evil at the Covenant school, in our own city. Just as the day this will post and you will read is the day after THE monstrous evil, Jesus’ crucifixion. Much may transpire between my writing and your reading. We pray God’s mercy and our fidelity. And I note this is the last of the Lenten (preEaster) blogs.

Verses for consideration:

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:13-15

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

“But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. Joshua 14:8 (after the spies gave their report)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’ Daniel 7:27

Before reading further, STOP and read these again. What themes do you see?

On that Saturday

The scriptural record is silent. I wonder what the apostles, Mary, Mary and Joanna and the others disciples thought on that Saturday. We know the end of the story, we have that record. For many there is an issue of unbelief, yes, but the record is clear. Jesus was raised.

But on that Saturday they were about as agonizingly forsaken as The Lord on the cross. Everyone was now against them, the religious leaders, their fellow countrymen and even the Roman occupiers. Their hope, their inspiration, their leader: the one who healed, who stilled seas, who fed multitudes, who washed their feet was DEAD. And they huddled fearful. Would the leaders come after them next?

Everyone around them were celebrating the Passover, meanwhile they were as crushed as the Egyptians for whom all the firstborn had died. What did they pray, how did they view God in that instant: angry, fearful, resigned, in shock? I can imagine they turned to the Psalms for solace or just to plead, why! And if they did, Psalm 42 was likely on their lips. But what about the last part of verse 11, could they pray that? Was their faith so formed? Jesus had bled and died! Where was this leading?

9 I say to God, my rock: "Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" 10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?" 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

The record does not tell us BUT it does recount the steadfastness of the women, their resolve to do their duty for their crucified, crushed spiritual leader, the one who cast out Mary Magdalene’s demons and who raised Mary's and Martha’s brother Lazarus. It was only right that he be given proper burial, so before dawn, in the cool/cold, unable to sleep, driven by love and duty they ventured forth. Can you imagine for a moment their sickening dread and crushing disappointment as they trudged to the tomb?

But then---- We will celebrate that tomorrow!

For today let us love and empathize with them on that day, remembering they did not know the end of the story, they saw the bleeding but where was it leading?

Daily Reading: If it bleeds, It leads

Colossians 2:13-15; Philippians 4:13; Revelation 21:3-4

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