It’s been some time since I have been moved to post on my blog, perhaps due to family distractions, a birth and a death. Need I speak of the doting grandfather that I have become, “wasting hours” as my finger is tugged upon by an amazing young boy who loves to go “out Poppi, out.” Then, like so many, dumbstruck by the amusement of our current national politics. The latter I find every day a little more sobering.
This morning as I finished my annual read through the final two chapters of the book of Matthew, the pages seem to literally reverberate with truth about our day. These chapters walk us through the frustrations of a well-meaning Judas who seems set up to betray the Christ. Perhaps he was thinking, surely this man who walked on water could prevent any danger to himself? He thus schemes for a moment deep within the “Whitehouse” of his day, where at last Jesus could be positioned as that conquering savior all had prayed for, much needed by the people held in Rome’s grip of oppression. I need to move on!
Judas then seeks repentance among the religious of his day, those set up to administer the truth and justice of Moses’ Law only to be mocked. His bribery money, earlier issued by those same chief priests, now prophetically used by the “do-gooders” of the institutional church of their day! Jeremiah (32:24) had beaten them to their decision and unknowingly recorded the moment for posterity, as had Zechariah (11:12-13), centuries before that day. The mystery and relevance of the scriptures is baffling!
Judas, gripped by an unresolvable remorse, his convictions perhaps deeper than those in the priesthood, hangs himself.
“Meanwhile” (Matthew 27:11) the kangaroo court of the Priesthood has sent Jesus before Pilate, where the saga continues. Pilate, a skilled politician, attempts to escape the sick plot of the “righteous” by utilizing the custom of offering the demented person of Barabbus in exchange for the one he knows to be innocent. Needless to say, the people and politics prevail. A scary but relevant insight for today!
As Jesus is then turned over to those paid to torment and terrorize, the mockery continues with The One whom they have little knowledge of, beyond some rumor that He had declared himself the King of the Jews, even the Son of God! Can you begin to see what I see?
My need to write (to process) came as I attempted to get inside the head of Jesus, a man dying on a cross, hanging between two thieves after a life of generous love toward others. This had to be emotionally grueling, particularly if one had known earlier moments where the heavens had ministered to and through him. Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration, angels in the Garden, bread and fish multiplied, not to speak of numerous healings; even in great storms, he had defied the very laws of nature!
In His dying words, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” questioned by some as a cry out to Elijah, he was simply quoting Psalm 22:1; perhaps in death, reflecting on the prophecies He was then fulfilling? Yes, He was then drinking the Gethsemane cup, He had so desperately prayed to escape, “if there be any other way!”
When its seems that all is going to Hell in a hand-basket, remember this is Friday and Sunday is coming, also testified to by the multiple dead raised in Matthew 27:52, as they came out of their tomb!
Grandchildren are a great joy, but the Word of God is fascinating and relevant!