Lent and expectations

In Jesus’ day most Jews were looking for a Messiah who would at long at last bring into fulfillment God’s promises so that God’s people would not just occupy the land, but no longer have powers such as the Romans, ruling over them. For the most part they were looking for a Messiah who would come in power and rule, and help them live out the Torah, the Law given to Moses.

Jesus comes along and he tells his disciples that he is going to have to suffer and die and then be raised to life. The disciples didn’t get this at all. It certainly didn’t fit into their understanding of how things should be. It was on none of their “charts.”

We too can have some idealized expectation of how things should happen. If we’ve lived long enough, we may well have long since abandoned any such expectations. We had best learn to settle down both into how the world and life actually is, and what the Lord is actually doing. And take up our crosses and follow.

But along the way we had best be prepared to be unsettled over and over again. Because the way of Jesus, the way of the cross, will often result in tossing about our assumptions, and shaking up our thinking for the change that the Lord is working in us.

And so for better and for worse in our experience at times we in Jesus are in this together. We’re on the path of the Crucified one. It is not just about his once for all death for our sins and for the sins of the world. It is also about our identification with him in his death, our death with him. Even becoming like him in his death.

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