On hanging in the balance


It is finished.


Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled. Betrayed and denied, interrogated and condemned. Scourged and crowned with mocking thorns. Crushed beneath the weight of the cross, nailed to that which He created, and by His very own beloved creation.


And now there’s a pause, a waiting. We know the end, but then, they didn’t. I think of their heavy, wondering hearts. How they must have grieved, have questioned, have marveled at their memory of the past few days, replaying each moment in their troubled minds. I imagine them sitting in silence in that locked upper room, arrested by fear, suspended in doubt. I imagine the bitter taste of denial in Peter’s mouth, the searing images of Jesus’ torture in John’s mind. How can this be?


I think of Cleopas and his companion on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus, their walk of seven miles filled with conversing and debating. “But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel,” Cleopas told the disguised Jesus, “and it is now the third day since this took place.” I think of Mary Magdalene, weeping by the tomb. “Sir,” she told Jesus, hidden through her tears, “if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” I think of Thomas in disbelief, retorting stubbornly to the others: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” I think of the pain and anger and mourning.


I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God…For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance. (Romans 8:19-25)


Let us await with eager expectation. Let us hope for what we do not see, let us wait with endurance. Let us remember that the sufferings of this present time are nothing compared with what’s to come. I wait in the silence of my heart, I suffer in secret ways, I dare to dream of what He’ll do in my life. And I wait, too, with the world. I watch the evil and see the pain around me and I long for Him to save us all. But He did save us and He is saving us and He will save us.


It is finished, yes. But really, it’s only just begun.


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