Is that all there is?

I’ve read through Luke’s Gospel through chapter 23; and I find the timing of my reading and my life converging once again. You see this week, my life hit a bump. I had a disappointment, a conflict — a problem that has caused much sadness, and loss of sleep. I don’t take these things lightly.

And here I am reading about Jesus trial, the very event that would bring an end to his life. When I might be tempted to slide into hopelessness over a broken relationship, I read about people who faced a despair deeper than any I have ever known. Jesus’ friends faced the end of something too, the loss of hope. The end of Jesus’ life signaled the end of promise. Had they been tricked? Had they been fools? Were they second guessing their own wisdom in following this strange, but powerful man/god?

When things look bleak, it’s tempting to ask, “Is that all there is?”

In chapter 23, verse 3, Pilate asks Jsus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” And Jesus answers, “It is as you say.” Then TWICE Pilate makes it clear that he finds NOTHING in Jesus worthy of death. (verse 15). And he offers to flog Jesus and release him.

Instead the people ask for Jesus’ death.

Even in his last hours, Jesus evokes a miriad of responses in the people he contacts. The crowd wants to kill him. One criminal wants to make fun of him. The other asks for mercy. The captain of the Roman soldiers (managing the execution) finds himself convinced that Jesus was innocent. Even after Jesus death, Joseph, a member of the Jewish high council, risks claiming the body — to wrap it, and lay it in a tomb.

Imagine for the moment, going to bed on the night of Jesus death. Wouldn’t you be asking yourself? Is that all there is? What do we do now? Remember that his friends hadn’t read the whole book. They didn’t see ressurection Sunday coming (though they’d certainly been warned).

The same is true for me. Today, this relationship looks hopeless. I don’t see how it can ever be restored. I’m frustrated, misunderstood, accused. Parts of me don’t even want to try to fix it. I’d like to bury it and move on.

But the message of Jesus’ death is this: What you SEE is NOT what you get. Tomorrow is a new day. It has new potential. A new story. A new resurrecton. God can see what you cannot. He has a plan. A new answer, that you cannot possibly see from here. So in the words of Nicole Nordeman, “Hold on, He’s right behind you. Hold on, Love will find you.”

It’s easy to remember the Ressurection Sundays — the marriages saved, the children healed, the churches restored — but don’t forget those answers while you face the darkest days. Don’t allow yourself to be lost to the despair.

Whatever dark Friday you may be facing. Hold on, Love will find a way! Bette

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