Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

John 14: 19

 

We enter a room that comprises the upper floor of a house in Jerusalem. The light is dim but not dark. By modern standards the room is sparsely furnished and minimally decorated. Yet, in its center all attention is focused on the Master, on Jesus, as He is speaking in a way that no one has heard before. He is sharing a strange account of the way that things will soon be for His followers. This will be a time of great upheaval and trial. A period of testing for their faith as they continue on in a world where power and position will seem to matter far more than a person’s desire to serve God and to follow His commandments. In a short while, Jesus dies a brutal death; evil appears to win; and hope is placed into a stone tomb.

 

Jesus already knows the pain that His followers will feel. He is all too aware of the sorts of agony that He will be asked to endure. The Christ also knows fully the victory that God is about to claim over all that is evil, against every rebellious thought and deed, and as an act of restoration and eternal hope in the hearts of people in every corner of the world. This is the strange and yet wonderful tension that is in the air on this Passover night. They celebrate God’s faithful rescue of His people from Egyptian slavery while awaiting the Lord’s return to rule over His creation, and they do this in the presence of the One who will make that long anticipated dream a living reality. God has come; Emmanuel is present. Life is to be claimed out of the death that rebellion proclaimed.

 

This is the truth that Jesus was sharing. There would be a moment in history when oppression, violence, and the evil that brings them would seem to achieve their end. But that moment would soon pass and the glory of God would be revealed to the world in the risen Christ. So, life would replace death, and each person who is willing to surrender all that she is for the sake of gaining all that God has to offer in Christ is made truly and fully alive. Jesus was put to death and then came alive again so that all others could put our dead selves behind us and join Him in a life that knows no boundaries and that has no end. Jesus knew that it would take a form of life that was supernatural and that can only come from God for His followers to make it through the times of trial to come. In the same way we can prevail over the antagonistic forces of evil that surround us in our world because of the life that Chris grants in abundance to His beloved people.

 

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