Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Barbara Caine of Holy Redeemer, March 30, 2022

Devotion for March 30, 2022, from Pastor Barbara Caine of Holy Redeemer:

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. Matthew 16:21 

How were they….really?  The disciples had been warned.  Jesus was going to Jerusalem.  The writing was on the wall and he was going to be killed. But before that, he would undergo great suffering.  And that suffering would be at the hands of the ones who should have the most mercy, the most kindness, the most understanding of what Jesus had come there to do.  And here were his followers, his supporters, his friends.  Their anxiety had to be insistent, gut-wrenching, physically exhausting, and they were utterly helpless…. 

How was he….really?  Jesus, as human as you and I was facing the worst humanity has to offer, torture and death of an innocent person by someone in power who could not abide by the idea of allowing someone else to be more powerful, more appreciated, more, well, right, than they were.  How could he stand it?  The persecution he was experiencing had continued to expand throughout his three years of public ministry and now, in the final weeks of his life, his death was a given, and, worst of all, he knew it.  He knew his own disciple would betray him.  There could be no uncertainty, no hope of rescue, no light at the end of the tunnel…. 

How are we….really?  We’ve faced the pandemic, the political upheaval, the restrictions, the rise and fall of hope.  The normal has disappeared, and we do not know how it will end.  And yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  When, after Jesus was tortured and killed, he came back, he had, quite simply, conquered death!  He came back to tell us that there is more than just, “Life happens, and then you die.”  Life is full of beauty and love and hate and destruction and possibility and exquisite pain and loveliness beyond our ability to grasp….

How are we….really?  We are held.  We are loved.  We are called to make a difference.  We are called to look with Jesus at the light coming in at the entrance to the tomb and know that we, too, have so much to give and do in the world.  And Jesus is with us….really. 

In Christ, Pastor Barbara[1][2] 

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