Chapter Eighteen Wednesday, December 15, 2010
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
In only nine days we will gather in the Wilson worship center for Christmas Eve candlelight services. We are only ten days away from the celebration of Christmas. Time is moving fast! And yet, we are in the time of Advent, so we wait. We prepare. We read, pray, and open our hearts for the arrival of the Christ Child.
The early disciples missed the birth scene in the manger of Bethlehem. None of the Twelve were there. But they did have the unique privilege of walking with an adult Jesus as he taught throughout the countryside. They heard him teach when he changed the world with the Sermon on the Mount. They watched him heal the sick and they were present when a blind man recovered his sight.
Day by day they were blessed by their time with the Lord but now they are at a turning point. He is telling them that this particular trip to Jerusalem will be his last. In fact, he is quite clear that he will die to fulfillment the words of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus is not only clear that he is about to give his life, he is also unambiguous about the fact that he will rise again on the third day.
From this side of the cross in the year 2010, we see history in the rear view mirror. The disciples were hearing a projection of what was about to happen. But they could not understand. Matthew records their lack of insight and says that the meaning was even intentionally hidden from them. Like most important messages of life, there would be a right time for the fullness of the information to be revealed.
It makes me wonder, what message from the Lord have I missed? What is the next important thing that I need to understand? And when will be the right time for me to receive and act on that information? Will I be ready? Will I be spiritually aware so I can fully receive? These are the questions of Advent. The answers are on the horizon. In fact, some of the answers are only ten days away. Will you be ready?