In one of our Lenten readings last Thursday Chris Wright made what I now realise is an obvious point, but I’d never really thought about before ( – probably you all have, so please allow me to catch up!). He wrote “There’s only one reason a murdered man would come back to life – for vengeance on his killers”.
We rejoice with all our hearts that Jesus rose again to conquer sin, death and hell. But as I reflected on Wright’s words I realised that Jesus didn’t come back to life to ‘sort out’ Judas Iscariot, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, the soldiers etc. Yet He did return to ‘sort out’ things with Mary Magdalene, the Eleven (well Ten at first and then subsequently with Thomas), the two on the road to Emmaus, Peter etc. His ‘sorting out’ was so gracious, so loving, so merciful.
Maybe you’ve felt very anxious, even fearful, over all the extraordinary events and, perhaps even personal tragedies that have already occurred, with extremely difficult weeks still ahead. Yes we are commanded not to be anxious about anything (e.g. Philippians 4v6,7) and not to be fearful (e.g. Luke 12v32). But always remember the tender way which the risen Jesus spoke to the weeping, confused, faith-less Mary Magdalene (John20v16). And, of course, even the betraying Peter is lovingly forgiven and recommissioned (John 21v15-19).
The Lord will, one day, avenge all evil in a totally righteous was (Romans 12v19) and, here and now, does discipline His children (e.g. Hebrews 12v5-11). However, let us always remember and experience the fact that, in the words of the Lou Fellingham (and others) song, “To multiplied trials, He multiplies peace”.
Peace and Grace