This past Sunday was the first day of spring, which was welcomed by most with arms wide open. Winter is *finally* bidding us adieu as temperatures rise, birds start chirping when the sun comes up, and tree branches begin to fill with fresh buds ready to burst open with life.
Sunday also marked the beginning of Holy week - the seven days leading up the death and resurrection of Jesus - and I have been trying to come up with the right words to describe my feelings these last few days. Nothing that came to my mind seemed to fully or accurately encompass all that this week holds, until I heard it:
This is my ninth Holy Week as a follower of Jesus, and yet my feelings about all that it means have not changed. If anything, they have intensified. That the people who heard His teachings on the mountaintops, saw Him walk the streets with his motley crew of disciples, and witnessed His life-altering miracles could sentence Him to be crucified makes me so angry, and so sad. That my Jesus had to suffer as He did, painfully bleeding out from a cross in front of not only those who had given up on Him but also those who wholeheartedly believed He was who He said He was, to the point that He even asked the Father why He was being forsaken, often brings me to tears. It also makes me wonder: which group would I have been a part of back then?
Even still, as He died there on the cross, I imagine a stillness. A realization that He, the Son of God, was gone, no longer able to walk the earth or teach in His parables or perform miracles. What grief must have fallen upon His followers, and yet what confusion must have fallen upon those in the temple. Those who witnessed the veil tear in two; who felt the rumbles of the earth shaking beneath their feet. And only three short days later, they would realize just how wrong they had been.
Holy anticipation is the most appropriate way to describe the feelings, the vibes, around this week. There is stillness, sadness, grief, and heartache to mark Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the few days following His death...
...and yet Sunday is coming. The day that most realized that Jesus truly was who He said He was; that He had beaten death and destroyed the temple and carved a new and better way for all who choose to believe to have a relationship with the Father through Him. Followers of Jesus know this feeling of holy anticipation well. We know the outcome; we know that He is victorious and that in His death, we are given new life.
Yep, Sunday deserves literally ALL of the praise hands.
Holy anticipation: an expectancy that, just as He was more than 2000 years ago, God is up to things far beyond our imagination or understanding.
Holy anticipation is what I am feeling about this season of my life. The last few months have been full of change - and the discomfort of the growing pains that come along with it - and some haven't been the easiest to embrace. But life is full of change, and I've lived enough to know that just on the other side of it lies goodness and blessing and glory. It doesn't always look the way I'd imagine - as I am sure the disciples did not imagine Jesus' death would bring about all that it did - but it is almost always so much better.
Greater things lie ahead, and He knows exactly what He is doing.