You are a Jewish peasant living in occupied
You neither read nor write, but you have sat at the feet of your rabbi all your life, as he tells stories from the days of the Macabees, when heroic, larger than life guerilla warriors fought against the occupiers, and for a time they won. They had God on their side, they had proven what the Scriptures always said: with God on your side, a tiny army against all odds can defeat a huge enemy.
Your rabbi’s father told the same stories to your father; and these things were never questioned.
A few years ago your uncle, who believed these stories completely and desperately wanted to prove himself a man, joined the insurrection. Over a thousand of his friends gathered in the hills, and they marched on
They were summarily rounded up and executed. Days later you saw his corpse; it was one of hundreds of crucified rebels lining the road into town. Your father told you not to look, but you did anyway and you’re sorry you did.
But lately there has been a rising sense of hope in the air. Finally, everyone is saying, the time has come. This is the time. I mean, really the time, this is not just our imagining. God has finally heard the groans of his people. Finally, the debt has been paid; finally our sins no longer stand in the way of God and his people. Finally, God will be on our side once again; the long punishment is over; God’s kingdom will once again be established.
There is a great man, they say he is the one. He will deliver
They say he is the one. Finally, there is a reason to hope.
Your heart is beating, you can barely contain your excitement. The crowds are gathering; the angels are at the ready; this is the day; this is the time.
Now listen to the story of the Passion: Matthew
(Matthew 26:14-27:66)What do we do....
when our godly dreams are shattered?
when our righteous prayers go unanswered?
when this God that we have given our lives to turns out to be... all too human?
Pray with me that, as we move through Holy Week, these questions will find an answer.