Thursday, April 6, 2023

Flipping the Switch on Selective Memories

Suggested Reading: Luke 24:1-10

One of the mysteries of the Easter story for me has always been the selective memory of the disciples who followed Jesus during his ministry. Almost since the beginning of his ministry Jesus had been dropping hints that he was going to die and rise again. In the weeks leading up to the Cross those hints became concrete descriptions of the suffering he would endure and even a solid prediction that the chief priests would hand him over to the Romans to be executed. While giving these predictions, Jesus repeatedly said that he would die and be raised after three days. Jesus had even given instructions for where to meet him when he rose from the grave.

When Jesus was arrested and condemned to death, you would think that Jesus' disciples would understand everything was going according to plan. But they didn't. They ran and hid, terrified, while the women, who had followed him faithfully, mourned and wept. When Jesus finally died, the women gathered spices to treat his body for burial. But on that Sunday morning after the crucifixion, when the women went to visit the tomb, they encountered two men who addressed their search for Jesus' body. They announced, "He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. ’” Then they remembered his words (Luke 24:6-8, NIV1984).

Sometimes I wonder why God allowed all of the disciples and the women who followed Jesus to forget his words for a time, why God didn't comfort them with those promises of resurrection before Jesus rose. I can't answer that, but I can imagine the joy that must have flooded their hearts when the angels flipped that switch and turned on their memories, when everything suddenly clicked into place. The sorrow before that moment must have been overwhelming but would have made the joy that followed even more overwhelming.

Sometimes, in the midst of loss, we can easily forget the promises of God. When the pain and sorrow of life are crashing in on us, remembering God's promises is not something that comes naturally to us. Often, we don't remember those promises until they've already been fulfilled. But when you face sorrow and heartache, don't forget God's promises forever. Cling to them. Wrap yourself up in God's promises. Remember, weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning
(Psalm 30:5, NIV1984).

What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?

Suggested Reading: Judges 16:4-21 or Judges 16 (the whole Samson and Delilah story) I may lose some readers over this statement, but.....