Do you need some resurrecting? On Saturday, all was quiet while Jesus was in the grave. Friends and supporters sat weeping with loss and dashed dreams.
Detractors were gloating and feeling some relief at finally being proved right and getting what they wanted.
Middlemen were glad to be out of the middle. Bystanders who never were quite sure what all the commotion was about anyway went back to their regular routine.
Who are you in the story? Bystander? Middleman? Detractor? Supporter? Crucified?
The crucified one lay in the grave. Just days before today they had a huge parade to welcome him into the city. The celebration was huge … hosannas lifted … coats and palms laid on the street. It was big. But, he knew.
The detractors were not happy. Detractors are rarely happy. They celebrate brief victories before moving on to their next target.
Supporters were at their peak thinking all they had dreamed about and planned for was finally coming into place after 3 and a half, long, often-difficult years.
Bystanders came out to watch the parade before going back to their regular tasks.
And the middlemen? They were just hoping not to have this spill into anything else bringing more work for the weekend.
Which are you?
Many of us have experienced some of what the crucified one experienced.
We remember the big celebration when we got the new job and everyone was thrilled to have us on board. And then we remember the conversation gradually changing around the water cooler over the next two years. We remember the feeling of friends changing sides to join the detractors and feeling betrayed. And then, we remember the end and giving our notice feeling numb.
Or, we remember the huge wedding celebration and being so much in love. We remember the talk of the future and building a life together. We remember the spouse who never had a harsh word, gradually moving to the other side of the spectrum and speaking only criticism. And then, for some of us, the agonizing pain of betrayal and the death of our dream came with “crucify” translated to “divorce.”
It has happened to the athlete who was the star. Gradually he stopped wowing his adoring fans and saw his Twitter feed change from “best ever” to “trade him” and “overrated.” “Crucify” in different language.
Or, you had the college graduation party, summa cum laude, with big dreams and bright future. And then, that changed as your biggest fans and biggest supporters, transitioned to telling you that dreams are fine but reality demands that you settle and “just get a job, any job.” And now you hear the beep of barcodes scanning 8-10 hours a day.
The pain of crushed dreams. The pain of betrayal when friends move to detractors. The pain of seeing that all your efforts apparently were not enough. The shouts of “crucify” translated to “you’re fired” and “you’re done.”
Jesus knew and he still walked forward. We had no idea and were taken by surprise but we can still walk forward. How? The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is alive in us.
It’s Saturday and many of us need resurrection. The good news is that Sunday is coming. The good news is that the detractors and middlemen have some major disappointments ahead. The good news is that Jesus did not quit but did exactly what he said he would do. He rose.
You and I are not finished.
“By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare Your victory”
Tomorrow, Sunday, we will gather at 10 AM at 733 Main St in Westbrook to celebrate the resurrection. Join us. And yes, detractors, middlemen and bystanders are always welcome. And, if you miss it? We’ll be there next Sunday doing the same thing, and the next, and the next …