Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Words for Wednesday (Devotional)

Taking Care of Details

Something struck me as I heard the “Easter Story” again this year. It wasn’t the sacrifice Jesus made for me, yet that still leaves me speechless. It wasn’t the pain Jesus suffered on the cross, yet the thought of His anguish still make me cringe. It wasn’t even the deep love He showed, yet that still leaves me in awe of His gift of grace. This year, it was the details. All those little details.

First, it was in Jesus’ birth. God knew Jesus would be born on that particular day. He could’ve opened up a room in the inn. He could’ve let His only Son rest comfortably in Mary’s womb for a few days longer. Or how about entering the world a few days earlier? But, no. He chose to have the Saviour of the world enter into the world in a dingy stable, with lowly shepherds and noisy animals to honour his arrival. And soon after was the vision to Joseph . . . danger was at hand and God spoke. So they chose a different route home.

Nearer to Christ’s final hours, God continued to take care of the little details. Jesus had been preparing His disciples during His whole ministry. Preparing them for His final glory, but they didn’t get it. Not yet, anyway. But in his final hours. . .God allows things to just kind of happen. He allows the crowds to read about just who this Man hanging on the cross really was. In three languages, so everyone would know. And when the chief priests questioned it, there were no arguments going to be made.

And they cast lots for his clothing. Jesus had been treated like a criminal, robbed of all value, but suddenly his clothing became valuable. Did those who decided to cast lots know the prophecy? Did they have any idea that such an act was actually helping people to believe that this man hanging on the cross was actually “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”?

And the men on the cross? The one guy mocks him; the other asks to be remembered, because he believes Jesus and believes Jesus is the innocent one being punished here. And Jesus saves Him. Just like that.

And there stands Jesus’ mother, along with some other women. And in all of His pain and agony, He remembers His earthly mother, who was, according to Luke 1:42 “blessed among women.” And while she is watching her son, the Promised Messiah’s life come to an end, He took care of her, giving John the task of taking responsibility for her.

And then, because it is the Passover Sabbath the next day, the soldiers came along, broke the bones of the others being crucified, but pierces Jesus who was already dead. Protocol was ignored, brutality prevailed, and scriptures were fulfilled . . . again.

And then Jesus’ body was taken to a new tomb: “Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby” (John 19:42) Quickly, Jesus’ body has to be moved to a new tomb, with a stone rolled in front. And the guarded to prevent robbery. When searching for Jesus, the linens he had been wrapped in are folded, a sign it couldn’t have been robbery. And the sealed stone is moved, even though heavily guarded. All discovered by Jesus’ mother and some devoted women and disciples who had come to bring spices as an act of love and devotion at the first possible minute they could!

All to discover that Jesus is alive! Jesus is risen!

I am struck by the details, because God so carefully takes care of ALL the little details. Each of them working towards His plan of redemption for you and me, each one of them giving us more of a reason to believe in the Christ, the Son of God, each one of them convicting the lost to turn to Him for salvation, each one of them showing an unending love for a sinner like me, each one of them bringing Him the highest glory.

And each one of them reminding me that He is still a God who is control of all the small details today. Even in my life. Even in yours. He is a God who is continuing to work out His plan of salvation and redemption for you and me.

“Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds . . .and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable them they?” (Matthew 6:25b-26)

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