Such fools, these followers of Jesus. Witless tradesmen,
traitors, cowards, and louts, smelling of dust and sweat and fish—with a
carpenter to lead them! The honest one, Nathanael, spoke well when he asked, Can anything good come from Nazareth? Yet
even he was smitten—by a wandering woodworker!
And then what? This Jesus rides into Jerusalem like God’s gift
to humanity, picks a fight with the scribes and scholars, and blasphemes
before the high priest. Who could stand for it? They had him flogged and
humiliated, beaten within an inch of his life—they gave him every
opportunity—and still he would not repent. So they had him crucified.
Great wickedness demands great atonement.
Such disciples! Most of them fled when God’s arm was
revealed. Only the young one, John, stuck it out to the end. His mother was
there, too, I hear. Poor woman. She raised him right, by all accounts, and this
is her thanks: a criminal in an early grave. She must be proud.
They’ve been in hiding since. What would you do, if you left
your home and livelihood to follow your heart’s desire, only to see it crushed
completely and come to nothing? They say he worked wonders: fed the masses,
healed the sick, even raised the dead! But how could that be, unless he came
from God Himself? And why would God would allow his servant to be profaned so
publicly, so completely—on the Passover, no less! Why could he not save
But no. Nothing short of bodily resurrection could make up
for so great a loss. For the man Jesus to redeem Himself and his followers, He
would have to burst from that tomb of his own accord, bathed in light and
breathing God’s own spirit, baptizing in fire as the beheaded Baptist foretold,
with angels as His heralds and judgment on His lips. He would have to show
Himself victorious over not only worldly powers, but over sin and death itself.
Some say he will. Just imagine: the stone rolled back, an
empty tomb, the astonished guards. Imagine the embarrassment of the Romans, the
recriminations among the Jewish leaders, the joy and wonder among His
Mercy! Who could stand before so great a Redeemer as that?
On that day, may every knee bend at His holy name. May He
find a people worthy to be called His disciples.
And may I be one of them.
Labels: discipleship, Easter, faith, Jesus, redemption, resurrection, scripture, sin