Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)
Wednesday, 5th week in Lent
The news yesterday was like the set up for a rather strange reverse April Fool’s joke. Normally you set up your friends with a terrible scenario that is unbelievable, like “You’re not going to believe what just happened! The government is going to give away free money to every person!” When they swallow hook, line, and sinker, and say, “Really? That’s awesome!” Then you can unleash the punchline: “April Fools!” And you both laugh together about how gullible they were to believe such a crazy outlandish story.
But how do you set up an April Fool’s joke after yesterday? “You’re not going to believe what just happened! While we were were dealing with an escalating pandemic of epic proportions, the sun was shining, the wind blew, it rained, hailed, graupelled, and snowed, AND there was a tornado, AND a 6.5 magnitude earthquake!”
Who’s going to believe that!?!
It’s no joke.
I’m reminded of a passage in God’s Word, when Jesus talks about terrible things that would be unleashed upon the world. Plagues, famines, earthquakes, signs in the heavens, wars and rumors of wars. These would be a precursor for the coming of Jesus Christ in glory. Most people would take to the hills, panic, or be in such a quandary that they wouldn’t know what to do. But Jesus instructs his disciples, “When these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Today we are 4 days away from Holy Week. We remember how God accomplished the truly unthinkable. He allows his beloved Son to suffer and die on a terrible cross as a common criminal under the Roman justice system. It is a terrible misfiring of justice. An innocent man suffers capital punishment for a crime that he didn’t commit. But he does it willingly, because he is taking our places. All of our places. This was no ordinary man, it is the Son of the Living God who became human so that he could pay in full the debts and evils of humanity! Why would someone do this? It doesn’t make sense to us. It sure doesn’t make sense to the world–it is considered sheer foolishness! And then to add a crazy “WHAT?!” to the mix, three days later his dead body came back to life!
It’s no joke. The foolishness of what happened on the cross and an empty tomb is what saves you and me. The apostle Paul reminds us, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) Through the terrible tragedy and calamity of the cross, and the startling reality of the resurrection, God demonstrates at what length his love will go to be with you.
God is with you.
I’m not smart enough to figure out when the world is about to end. My hunch is we are not there yet, but today is closer to the end than yesterday. Only God knows. Nevertheless, I do know this. Looking up to Jesus and waiting upon him is the best thing to do today, and every day. Especially when it gets bad enough that our government decides to give away free money!
A fool for the sake of Christ,
Pastor Langdon Reinke
P.S. Want or need to talk? Give me a call. I am with you! We have volunteers who are ready to help meet needs. Let us know.