As the week of Christ’s Passion went on, the great possibility of being crowned as Messiah on Sunday, went into the quiet ambiguity of not knowing things were going to take shape on Monday and Tuesday, to an arrest on Thursday, a crucifixion and death on Friday, to a surprising bodily resurrection on Sunday. Talk about emotional whiplash! In the middle of the week Jesus entered into the dread of His looming crucifixion. He faced false accusation, spitting in His face, a crown of thorns embedded deeply into His scalp, and the excruciating slow suffocation of death on His cross. His disciples felt like His entire mission was literally a complete and total failure. All seemed to be lost, except for the fact that all was not lost. Sunday morning there was a resurrection and an empty tomb. When it first happened, it was so odd that people weren’t jumping up and down in celebration. In fact, the first witnesses to His resurrection were more like befuddled and stunned people who can’t quite seem to get the punchline of a joke, as they tried to process what they were witnessing. But as the days went on, there was sighting after sighting, and meet up after meet up for 40 more days as people realized God had won a victory over death and the Passion week that seemed so completely wasted proved a upheaval of victory.
In the Passion week there emerges pattern of life with God:
- Revelation – In some way God shows us that He is going to, and maybe just about ready to, provide a “win” for us and perhaps for many.
- Anticipation – God places us into a season of waiting for that “win” to happen.
- Confrontation – God allows us to be refined, and even suffer, in the process of being the kind of vessel how can receive and also share the provided “win” with others. As Hebrews 5:8-9 says even about Jesus, “Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”
- Manifestation – God surprises us with a resurrection or an unexpected way of producing His promised “win” when all seemed completely lost.
All of us would prefer God to move immediately from Revelation to Manifestation, but it usually doesn’t work that way. It’s hard to go through the entire process of revelation, anticipation, confrontation, and manifestation but when God does – as we see in the victory of Easter – the victory is total and complete!