Terror and Amazement

Sunday’s Scripture – April 4, 2021

Isaiah 25:6-9, Mark 16:1-8

Reflection

“He will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth
for the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 25:8)

These words spoken by the prophet Isaiah long before Jesus would go all the way from heaven to the cross would indeed come to pass. Count on it– God’s promises always do.

But no one could have predicted how. How would the Messiah swallow up death, exactly? Certainly not by dying. That’s absurd.

It’s so absurd that you wouldn’t believe it even if Jesus gave you a heads up in advance. Of course, Jesus did exactly this to anyone with ears to hear, which turned out to be no one. Not even his twelve closest friends. Not even the faithful women would follow him all the way to the cross.

Early on Sunday morning, after having observed the Sabbath, the women headed to the tomb, not to look for a living Jesus, but to give him a proper burial. (Mark 16:1) “They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’” (Mark 16:3)

When they got there, they found the stone already rolled away and no body. An angel told them that “he has been raised; he is not here. Look there is the place they laid him.” (Mark 16:6)

Clearly, they were not expecting to find Jesus alive. Do you? He swallowed up death and is alive to this day. The Church must reawaken to the life of Christ.

The women’s response to the whole experience was  “terror and amazement had seized them.” (Mark 16:8)

This is how God works, is it not? Clarity and confirmation come in hindsight, but it’s always messy and uncertain in the middle of following.

Is God cruel to lead us in this way? By no means! It has to be this way. For it’s the only way that we come to truly trust the character of God. It’s a journey from terror to amazement. If you want the amazement, you must be willing to endure the terror. And, are you glad that Jesus was?

Happy Easter.

 

Questions

  • Well? Do you remember, or fail to remember, that Jesus is alive? What does the reality of his life mean for you? For us?
  • Reflect on a time when God led you through terror to amazement? What did He reveal about his character to you?
  • Are you willing to endure some terror in order to be amazed by God? If not, consider the alternative.

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