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December 27, 2019

Life can be summed up as four days – the betrayal, the suffering, the waiting, the rising.

 

Between breakdown and breakthrough is a space of time. I refer to as the in-between.

If you aren’t a Christian, bare with me. It’s an analogy – not religion and most people know the Easter Story. It was the first story I ever learned:

On Thursday, Jesus made his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. He was finally fulfilling his long awaited mission. He has reached the epitome of his success. He gathered his closest friends near to him to celebrate. At that table, sat the 12 people he loved most and it was those he loved, that would ultimately betray him!

Are you with me?

Betrayal comes from those we love! That same night, he asked that his friends, be there for him in his darkest moment of mental torture. He cried out to God to help him.

Where were his friends?

They ALL fell asleep! There were not there for him. He suffered ALONE in the darkness of his thoughts and fears that night. Only to be later arrested and see his loved ones RUN!

Love and betrayal – they seem to go hand in hand, and come from those we least suspect.

Friday – His life’s purpose, now being mocked. He was persecuted, not believed, called a liar. He was whipped, beaten, punished, and crucified for speaking his truth; then he was stripped naked! Imagine his humiliation.

A stranger helped him carry his cross.

A stranger wiped his blood, sweat and tears.

Where was his tribe? Where was yours?

One friend was already dead, the one he called his rock, had denied even knowing him 3X the night before. He was a miracle, a healer, an inspirational speaker with an enormous following. He changed lives. He brought the dead back to life!

Where was everyone he helped now?

Yep, gone.

THE PAIN…Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. He even yelled out to God ” Why have you forsaken me?” ( If Jesus feels abandoned and hopeless.So can you! )

Saturday – There is very little, if any mention of this day. But I suspect it went something like this: Their mentor  had been killed. One of their crew had betrayed them too and had hung himself. They had abandoned their friends when they needed them most! They had given up everything to follow their purpose, and it felt like it was all for nothing!

Sound familiar?

I picture Peter sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth, having a panic attack, plagued with guilt about all the things he wished he had done but didn’t.

I can hear Thomas, saying ” I doubted him from the beginning and you idiots wouldn’t listen!”

I can see John, being overcome with uncertainty about how he was going to look after Mary now too, on top of everything else, probably thinking ” Damn it, why me? How do I do ALL this?”

I envision the 2 Mary’s holding one another, sobbing in each other’s arms, trying to be strong for EVERYONE else when their hearts were breaking. ( women we do this a lot.)

They were all stuck in the UNCERTAINTY.

Questioning their past and trying to foresee their futures, feeling STUCK in their present circumstance.

Can you relate? I do.

I think of Holy Saturday as a DIVINE waiting room!

We could be there 1 day or 1 month or 10 years but eventually resurrection day; it comes. BUT not always as we anticipated.

Sunday – The women get up early. They drag their butts out of bed to go to the tomb after days of crying, grieving, feeling lost and confused! Upon arrival, the tomb stone has been moved and the body is gone.

They think they have been robbed once again! ( I feel that.. deeply. )

But he has risen.

He has walked out of death into life, out of darkness into the light, choosing to appear first to the ONE friend, who never betrayed him and stood by him to the end – the only disciple who doesn’t get the honor she deserves, because she was a woman!

She RUNS to tell Jesus’ other friends the GREAT news! “Jesus was not full of IT – He said he would return and he DID.”

What was their response?

“Guys, like, this chick is CRAZY! She is delusional. She has lost her marbles!” ( been there too )

UNTIL he shows up in THEIR living room and says to Thomas ” Well here I am, go ahead and stick your hands in my open sores, if you don’t believe me!”

Even family and friends poke at our wounds sometimes, don’t they?

I can see them in my mind’s eye, mouths hanging open, afraid, crumbling to the floor with guilt after jumping up and down shouting ” Hallelujah”

( I really hope they apologized to Mary for calling her crazy, but I suspect they probably didn’t. Apologies, require one to admit they are wrong WITHOUT excuses or explanations! So I ALSO hope Mary, who was one tough cookie, at least, flipped them the bird, after she slammed the front door on Peter’s face.)

They have seen with their own eyes and NOW they believed – how easy is that?

4 days – The betrayal, The breaking, The waiting and The rising.

That’s life for us as well isn’t it?

We ALL know and live this story: for the most part – the waiting.

There is no account of it to reference even. WHY?

Perhaps because It’s different for everyone.

BUT it happens to EVERYONE..

And to be fair to that group of dimwits that Jesus CHOSE as his disciplines ( that’s a whole other story – but it does make me feel a little better about all the asshats I’ve chosen to surround myself with over they years.

They could have left ALL their mistakes, and weaknesses and disloyalty and fear and the suicide OUT of the story…. BUT they didn’t.

They owned it all! They included this story in the gospels which literally means ” Good News”..

How the heckis anything besides the rising good news?

It’s ugly.

They failed on an EPIC scale and Jesus suffered the unthinkable – mostly ALONE.

He may have even been able to stopped it. He could have got off that cross and burned them all to the ground, scorching the earth BUT he didn’t. I can relate to wanting to raise hell some days too.

He endured the cross, because without it – there is NO RISING !

BUT EVEN JESUS ONLY WENT TO THE CROSS ONCE.

If you find yourself crucifying yourself every SINGLE day – that was not the plan!

Get off the cross of YOURS,

Use your waiting time – the in between – to heal those wounds, for reflection, self examination, go ahead and feel the anger, the sadness, the fear. Cry, scream, doubt the process, ask those hard questions, open your heart and let love in…

Most importantly – FORGIVE OTHERS AND FORGIVE YOURSELF.

Then, roll away that big heavy stone, that is always in your way – whatever that is – for you.

AND step OUT from behind it!

It’s time to rise, my friend.

It’s YOUR time, to RISE!

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