In my home there reside three boys, well four if you ask my wife. Boys bring noise and energy to everything they touch. If you want proof, invite us over for dinner sometime. It is always interesting to me to hear my oldest son get out of bed in the morning. It literally sounds like the house is falling down around us. Sometimes I jump out of bed ready for war when I hear the battle start.
That is until we get them out in public. They each have their own way of managing their loud nature when out somewhere. My older two will still be somewhat loud, while my youngest son (3 years) will whisper. If anyone asks him a question they just get a blank stare. He suddenly turns into the quiet and reflective child. It is quite the contrast. One moment he is loud and the next he is completely quiet.
This contrast comes to mind as I consider the week we are in. This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, which was a celebration of our victorious King. And, of course, this Sunday will also be a celebration of our Risen Lord! However, today is Good Friday. Even though we call it good now, there was no celebration going on that first one. The joy was set aside for fear, doubts, and confusion. Peter even denied knowing Jesus, not once, but three different times leading up to this! Things had changed.
Jesus spends some time getting interrogated by Pilate. Pilate was a powerful man known for his anti-Jewish sentiment. He didn’t have to take any real interest in Jesus at all. Instead, in contrast to Peter’s three-fold denial, we have Pilate’s three-fold affirmation of: “I find no basis for a charge against him.” He says it three different times! He then gets scared and actually attempts to free Jesus. But, the people want Him dead and they ultimately get their way.
The cross has had its way. Jesus died alone, abandoned by the people He came to save. It would seem like the whole world stood still and suddenly had nothing to say. That is all about to change. The celebration noises will once again be proclaimed. This is not the end of the story, but rather the beginning of something new for all of humanity. Something was happening that we could never accomplish on our own and the praises will not cease from here on.
“We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only can we do– flee it or die upon it. And if we should be so foolhardy as to flee, we shall by that act put away the faith of our fathers and make of Christianity something other than it is. Then we shall have left only the empty language of salvation; the power will depart with our departure from the true cross.” – A.W. Tozer in the book “The Radical Cross”