Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Faith and Patience

“Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” (Matthew 27:56)

Sometimes when we read the story of the crucifixion, we do so with a kind of distant detachment. We may feel some degree of sorrow when we read it, but we are nearly 2,000 years beyond it now. That fact cannot help but produce at least some level of distance and detachment from the event of the cross.

That being true, it is important that when we read the story again, we take some time to reflect, to think about it, to allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to bring it to life in our minds again, as if it is the first time we’ve heard it. An illustration may help us understand this.

In verse 56, for example, we read, “Mary the mother of James and Joseph.” Let’s journey back to that scene for a moment. Who was this Mary? James and Joseph were two of the half-brothers of Jesus, so it seems this is Mary the mother of Jesus. She is gazing on her Son as this point, from a distance, but there is no detachment here. This is her Son, now hanging limp, bloody, broken, and lifeless on a Roman cross. How could this happen? The angel Gabriel had appeared to her and told her this would be the Son of the Most High God who would save His people from their sins. He was the Messiah. Gabriel had confirmed this also to Joseph, her betrothed. All experiences through the years indicated that what Gabriel said to them would indeed happen, until it seemed like her Son went off the deep end with His 12 disciples. And now – this? Nothing made sense anymore. Hope died, replaced by grief. At least, for three days it did.

Faith may have as much to do with patience as it does with believing.

Lord, Help us to understand that our understanding is limited at best. Help us to place our full trust in You and continue under the Lord as we follow Your lead. Amen.

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