Luke 24:5-7 He is not here, but raised up. Remember how He told you when you were still back in Galilee that He had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words….11 they kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up.”
Even after being with Him for three years, it was hard for His closest friends to remember His most important words when they really needed them. Perhaps it was the darkness of the moment, the depth of the pain and disappointment they were feeling, the fear in the unrest of the culture…maybe all those things combined together to snuff out the faith they needed to be able to access, believe and build on the word of the Lord. But the fact remains: He told them this was coming and He told them how it would turn out.
You’d think they would have been waiting and pacing by the stone, checking their watches every few minutes. “Is it almost time? He said He was going to rise up!” “Hey John…remind me, what were His exact words? And also remember the time He talked about the temple being destroyed and rebuilt in three days – I bet He was talking about this!”
Seriously, wouldn’t they want to rehearse and rehash every word? I mean, wouldn’t you want to save this despair at least until day four? Even the Jews who hated Jesus remembered what He had said about rising again, so they posted a guard by the tomb (I love that even Jesus-in-the-tomb was a scary idea to them.)
I don’t have the chapter and verse for this, but I do believe that the bigger the word, the harder the wait. The bigger the word, the greater contention for our faith.
What do we do when the word takes time? I hear it from His heart and move it into a room in my own. I mull it over, run it through the Word, maybe talk about it a little bit with friends. And then – mostly – I remember it when it happens and go, “Oh yeah! He told me about this awhile ago!”
I don’t live to expect them, I just live to confirm them.
It’s awesome that God still blesses me and loves me and still accomplishes His word toward me, but I wonder how life would change if I would live through the lag time without doubting, fretting or forgetting. I bet my faith would grow muscles and my heart would grow courage and my voice would sound a lot like worship a lot of the time. I think my decisions would be more solid, my joy less circumstantial and my vision more x-ray-like in the dark times.
Acting in expectation of His word would also cause me to prepare for it’s fulfillment in my life. Why does He even tell us about what He’s going to do ahead of time? I think because He is wonderful about inviting us to partner with Him in the miracle He is creating. “Go catch a fish.” “Throw your nets on the other side.” “You’re raising a worship leader.”
Sometimes the word takes time…but always, it’s worth the wait. In fact, the wait is probably as important as the word itself.
One more day til the stone rolls away,