A still small voice interjects every once in a while to make sure we know there is more. Have you heard that voice? That more is the cross and the empty tomb. You see, we exist as the people of God in our world to live in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus…
31 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. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
Nestled between the story of riches and the kingdom of God and the story of a beggar being healed from blindness are these precious few verses about Jesus’ death and resurrection. In between all the teaching and the healing and the sparring with the Pharisees, Jesus was preparing the apostles, his closest followers, for what was to come.
Jesus knew that when he reached Jerusalem at the end of his 3 years of public ministry, that his hour was coming. Until that point, Jesus says several times that the hour has not yet come. This time it’s coming. For real.
Jesus would be handed over by the Jews to the Gentiles and he would be mocked and beaten and accused of blasphemy against his own Father. And Jesus would be killed. Then, after three days, Jesus would rise from the dead. We read in the last verse (34), that the disciples didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about.
How true is that? We often miss what God has to teach us and tell us and prepare us for, because we are caught up in the here and the now. The miracles, the teaching (in Jesus’ story), the career, the kids, the vacations, the life events (in our stories) all catch our attention, while a still small voice interjects every once in a while to make sure we know there is more.
There is something more. That more is the cross and the empty tomb. You see, Jesus was living in light of the cross. He was constantly aware that even though this vibrant public ministry was on fire and the crowds were seeking him out, in a few short days he would achieve what he came for. He would complete his mission.
We ought to live in light of the cross also. Even though we sow and reap and toil and eat and drink and we are merry. And we participate in all the events and trappings of this world, we are here – left here – because of the cross. We exist as the people of God in the world to live in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We bring the salt and light into the here and now.
So take a note from Jesus. In the midst of whatever you are doing this day, this week, this month, with all your goals and dreams and tasks and plans, realize that the cross of Jesus is real. Jesus’ death and resurrection paid for our sins and opened the door for eternal relationships with God.
We are the light of that message to our world.