Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” -Revelation 21:3-5
The Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday is a time to reflect on the spiritual fight within humanity to resist God's redeeming work. Jesus goes into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and the people come out to see what Christ is going to do for us. Yet, once the people evaluate the methods Jesus intends to use, and the expectations Jesus has for us, they hedge their bets that he either isn't capable of giving them the victory he promises, or isn't going to give them victory in a way they want him to.
On Maundy Thursday he sits around the disciples at their last meal together and tells them that his plan isn't what they were hoping for. What they were dreaming of happening wasn't what Jesus was going to do. No, Jesus had something different in mind, and it didn't fit with any of his followers expectations. Immediately, they begin to not only question their master, but whether they had made the right choice in following him in the first place.
By Good Friday, the people who brought out palms a few days earlier as a sign of their willingness to join the revolution are now among the crowd who mocks him, spits on him and taunts him as he walks by with a cross slung over his shoulders. His disciples, his loyal followers, willing to walk into Jerusalem to overturn the Roman government and free the Jewish people now scatter into the wind, seeking to find a new path for the rest of their lives now that their savior has not only failed, but will be killed because of it.
And then...then Jesus shows everyone who God truly is. That God is not a God of our expectations. God is not a God who plays to our demands, dreams or methods. No, God will always do something beyond what we imagine, beyond what we think is possible, and in ways that we had not only considered, but often in ways that we disagree with. The Jewish people wanted God's violent revolution, like the plagues in Egypt, or war and power. But instead of destroying, Christ builds something new. Christ returns, resurrected, on a new day, to do a new thing. Easter morning was not part of humanities plan, but it was exactly what humanity needed.
Easter morning, however, didn't give the people complete safety and security. Easter morning, didn't remove all the potential violence and oppression over the Jewish people. Easter morning didn't make life perfect all of the sudden. It did, however, give the disciples something they never had when they witnessed his miracles. It did give them something they lacked whenever he sat around speaking wisdom and love into their hearts. It did build something up in them that would forever alter the direction of humanity, across the world, in ways we could never fully measure or appreciate.
Are you looking for that thing? Do you want to know what it is? Do you want to feel the same transformation, the same resurrecting power, the same love and wisdom and impact that Christ gave all on that third day? Then join us at the empty tomb. Come out of your scattered place in the world. Throw away your expectations at what Jesus was doing when he went into Jerusalem or throughout his ministry. Come back and become a part of the mysteries that Christ offered through his redeeming and resurrecting work in the world. It may not look like you expect, or want it to. This Jesus may not fulfill all your dreams, hopes and demands. It will however be more than you could have ever imagined, in ways you'd never expect. Let Christ's resurrection become your resurrection this Easter season. Become something you've never been before, and come to understand what those disciples finally did on their way to Pentecost.