Yesterday afternoon my husband and I followed the park trail up to the top of Thom Mt. Someone had walked up before us and left a reminder of what day it was .. Good Friday. The hand printed words on the cross say "Jesus Saves".
I was reminded of two other people walking and talking about Good Friday, although they didn't call it 'good'.
Cleopas and his companion walked quickly but with their heads down.
Periods of silent thought were broken by the same conversation over and over again.
Shock, bewilderment, disbelief, profound grief poured into their words to each other.
Just a few days ago, Jesus rode into Jerusalem worshipped by the crowds, now He was dead - crucified !
How could that be ? All their hopes dashed ! He was gone... leaving their world suddenly turned upside down.
And now some women were saying the tomb was empty and they had been told by angels in a vision that Jesus was alive? What was the meaning of that ? How could that be possible.?
They did not hear the sound of sandalled feet coming up behind them until someone came alongside and fell into step with them.
The Man walked in silence for a moment, listening, then asked... "What are you talking about ? and why are you so sad ?"
Amazed that someone could be so unaware of the current events everyone was talking about, they asked, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem that has not heard of the things that have happened the last few days?"
The Man asked.. "What things?"
And the two began to give an account of the events as they had unfolded over the last days. They told the Man about how Jesus had been a prophet who had spoken the word of God and done many miracles. But then the chief priests and rulers had unjustly condemned and crucified Him. They told the Man they had believed that Jesus was the Messiah and that He would have redeemed Israel! But how wrong they had been!
The Man listened until they were finished , then He began to speak -- He started at the beginning of the scriptures and taught them about all the things that had been pointing to Jesus. How, scattered like shining jewels, prophecies concerning Him had been there for them to see.
Like in Isaiah 53 that provided details such as the facts that He would be counted as a criminal, yet be buried in a rich man's tomb. That He would be beaten and would suffer beyond belief and would die -- yet that was not the end!
Listening to the Man talk, the two companions' hearts began to burn with excitement and dawning understanding. And then, at the end of their journey, when He entered their home - they recognized Him ! Jesus! He WAS alive!! Their world would never be the same again ... and indeed... it was never the same again for anyone!!
But how could they have so missed all the clues about who the coming Messiah would be? They knew the scriptures , they had heard them all their life. And yet, not only they, but the teachers themselves had not understood. Why ? Because they had had preconceived ideas of what the Messiah would be like.
They expected Him to some riding on a horse to make war against their enemies.
But He came riding on a donkey to show He came in peace.
They wanted a warrior. He came as a servant.
They expected Him to set up an earthly kingdom.
But He came to set up a spiritual kingdom.
They expected Him to come giving Israel dominion over the Gentile nations.
But He came to include the Gentiles in His plan of salvation.
They expected Him to save them from the Romans.
But He came to save all people from sin and death.
They expected a man. But He came as God with skin on !
If Jesus had met the expectations of man, instead of fulfilling God's plan
you and I would still be lost in our sins.
God's Plan is always the best !
May you in your Easter celebrations remember the One who gave us so much! His love for you and me is unfathomable.