I am so confused…

Mar 16, 2016   //   by Jackie Matyasovski   //   Pastor's Blog, Zion's Blog  //  No Comments

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.  He will be handed over to the Gentiles.  They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.  On the third day he will rise again.”

The disciples did not understand any of this.  Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

 

Luke 18:31-34

 

As I read this bit of scripture, I find myself feeling very confused on so many levels.  The first thing that strikes me is that last verse, explaining that the disciples did not understand any of this.  Really?!  Helloooo…what don’t you get?  How much plainer does Jesus have to speak to make you understand what’s coming for him?  Surely you know what the prophets have written about the Messiah—you’ve been listening to the stories all your lives!  How can you not understand?  How can you possibly be blinded to what Jesus is telling you?

And then there’s my confusion over Jesus’ seemingly blasé attitude as he explains to his disciples what is about to happen to him.  “Okay guys, this is the part where I’m going to be handed over to my enemies, mocked, insulted, spit upon, flogged, and killed.  It’s alright though, because my father will raise me from the dead on the third day.  No big deal, I just want you to be prepared.”  I mean really, even if you know how it will all end, how do you just put it out there like you’re simply planning a walk in the park?  Even though you know that you will rise from the dead, getting to that point is not going to be a cake walk; we’re talking about a ridiculous amount of pain, suffering, and torture.  Why would you willingly take that on, knowing how much you will suffer before it all ends in glory?

And finally, I’m confused when I consider why Jesus would even want the truth to be hidden from his closest confidantes.  Why wouldn’t he want those who had been with him from the beginning of his ministry, those he was closest to, to fully understand what was about to happen?  Surely, even if the disciples really were dense enough that they wouldn’t get it on their own, Jesus could open their eyes to see the truth of what he was saying.  Why all the mystery?

The only conclusion I can come to is that if anyone actually got it, if anyone understood that Jesus was on his way to his death, they would have done whatever was necessary to prevent his arrest and subsequent crucifixion.  And THAT would have prevented Jesus from taking our sin to the cross with him, so that we might be reconciled to God—something we could never do on our own.  It would have defeated the purpose of his entire life and ministry on earth.  That would have been disastrous for us all, to be separated from God eternally because of our sin.  Jesus willing took it all on so that we would be able to spend eternity with our Father who created us, and our brother who came to our rescue and saved us.  He had to be calm about it so he wouldn’t alarm the disciples.  They had to be blinded to the truth so Jesus could successfully complete his mission and all of humanity could be saved.

This Sunday, we begin Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  We are on the march to Jerusalem as we speak; the march toward the cross and the deep sadness that comes with the realization that our Messiah has died, and we had a hand in nailing him to the cross.  But the story doesn’t end with Good Friday and the tomb.   In our grief, we continue the march beyond the cross to Easter Sunday; to the resurrection and new life in Christ.  Thanks be to God!

 

Jackie Matyasovski, Deacon

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