Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. Luke 18:31
The term “Son of Man” is one that we use to describe Jesus himself, but in the old testament, the term son of man means “human”. Homo sapiens. Us. If you think of it that way, in this passage from Luke, Jesus is saying that everything that is written by the prophets about we humans will be fulfilled in what Jesus does in Jerusalem. What does he do there? He is tested, dies, and rises to new life.
That pretty much sums up everything that is about to happen to us. The Reverend Al Sharpen commented this morning that in this global pandemic we are climbing Calvary’s hill. It will hit us here in North America during Holy Week. There is no expectation, except maybe by one delusional American, that it will be over by Easter Sunday.
We will have to wait for our Easter.
But it will come.
Last night I was on Zoom with a group of colleagues I went to school with. Ironically, there was 12 of us online. Twelve disciples of Jesus trying to make sense of what is happening in our communities and doing the best we can to offer comfort and courage from a distance. They didn’t teach us this in minister school, or “Jesus Camp” as my friend Brian likes to call it.
We talked about how devastating it is not be able to sit at the bedside of a sick parishioner, hold their families as they cry, to offer prayers at a funeral, to hold hands prayer. We have been taught by Jesus to touch. We talked about trying to use technology to connect, and how to use our voices and words to touch and how it is so frustrating when even our best intentions at reaching out can place others in danger…one leader described how his Sunday school teacher is creating activity bags for her Sunday school kids and dropping them off in the driveway. Such a great idea…but so very dangerous if any of the items in the bag came in contact with someone unknowingly infected with the virus. Thinking about every single thing we do is exhausting!
Similar thoughts were probably running through Jesus’ head as he sat in the upper room with his disciples. Impending doom, betrayal, hardship, and deep abiding love for people he would soon be separated from, held at a distance, unable to comfort.
So what did Jesus do? He gave us communion. “Remember me”. He said. Remember everything about me; what I taught you, what I did, how I lived, who I loved. Remember.
So when we eat, remember. Easter is coming.
This too shall pass.
We may be climbing Calvary’s hill, but from the top we see clearly what is ahead of us. It might be dark right now, but the dawn is coming. And a whole new world awaits.