Only writers and thinkers can appreciate the neurotic tendencies they have to write down ideas. I have notebooks stationed everywhere and usually carry a small journal with me as well. I, like other writers and thinkers, are prone to waking up in the middle of the night and having an uncontrollable need to write a thought down. It’s a little strange when you think about it because the majority of these notes will never be read by anyone other than myself (and perhaps my wife). For whatever reason some of my clearest and most profound thinking has come in the middle of the night.
You never know when these moments will find you. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night and other times it’s bright and early in the morning. This last week while sitting in a café I wrote some thoughts down. I thought I would share these reflections as they seem to have benefit for fellow believers. I apologize for the lack of organization that is typical of my writing, but this is simply a journal reflection. Enjoy!
It’s a Tuesday morning and I am sitting in a café watching the first cold spring rain flooding a nearby parking lot. The constant tapping of the rain upon the windows is a relaxing refrain causing me to stare into the soggy ether instead of doing the work I came here to do.
I appreciate religious holidays. I find them necessary reminders of important events within the life of Jesus. Christmas and Easter seasons are the two most reflective times of the year for me as I ponder both my Lord’s birth and his passion.
Perhaps it is the melancholy of the day coupled with the Easter season that has brought to mind the incredible sacrifice my Lord has performed. Regardless, I can’t help but think about the cross and what it means to be lonely, and the fears I have about life and death. How lonely and terrifying it must have been for Christ to die.
There is so much the Bible doesn’t tell us regarding the time Christ spent on the cross. Sometimes I wonder what he was thinking during this time. For example, I wonder if he thought about when he first called some of his friends to be his disciples. Did he agonize over who would take care of them after this event? I wonder, did he look out among those who were there and see mostly unrecognizable faces?
What a terrible time to feel lonely.
Did he continue to pray to the Father as he did in the garden – his sweat now dripping with blood? How terrifying it must have been to call out to the Father, like so many times before, only to be met with silence. How desolate his heart must have felt to be forsaken.
I wonder how he could not have seethed with anger when reflecting upon the many conversations he had with the religious leaders who could now gaze upon his battered and broken body. How could he avoid eyes that were wrought with righteous indignation?
I often wonder if the religious leaders knew who Jesus was. Clearly a few of them did – as John’s gospel tells us. But, I wonder if any of them had that little voice in their head asking the question, “what if?” Or were they, like many of us today, trained to not ask such questions. When I think about this, I can’t help but understand the power of pride in the religious life. It’s a cycle where pride leads to power and power to more pride.
I am intrigued by the thought of the religious leaders accepting the testimony of Jesus. What if Jesus was fully embraced as the Son of God? Interesting to think that the kingdom of God would have been established right then and there. None of this cross business would be necessary.
As a Christian living in the west I have been taught to think that the incarnation was about me and my sin. That Christ came to establish Christianity. This of course is only true if we completely ignore the Old Testament and read Paul as a preface to the Gospels, which many in our day and age are in the habit of doing. The truth of the matter is Christ came to reveal God to Israel and in so doing have them repent from their sin. Jesus was the promised one of Israel.
Israel’s rejection of Jesus is why I am here. It is why I exist, it is why I am a Christian. It was only through their rejection that the new kingdom has been established – that we Gentiles are now grafted into.
I wonder if Jesus knew what would happen when he died. I mean we all claim he was in some way both divine and human, but I’m not sure we can appreciate what that really means. I suspect that if he knew everything that would happen then he would have no need to speak with the Father.
I agree with the apostle Paul, the resurrection of Jesus is completely absurd. Since the resurrection is the foundation of our faith, then this means all of Christianity is absurd. Many Christians today are not okay with an irrational faith and so attempt to find many reasons for why such a faith is not absurd. How is it sane to believe that God manifested himself as a human being, lived among us, died, and then came back to life?
I suspect if it all made sense, it would not be from God.