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"Reflecting on Good Friday" ~ by Tim Davy

"Despite the outward appearance of a crushing setback, Good Friday was a day of triumph, unveiling God's divine plan and the true nature of his reign."

Of all the days in history, Good Friday is the one with the biggest gap between what appeared to be happening and what was actually going on.

It appeared that the religious leaders of the day had regained control and put a stop to Jesus and the movement he had started.

It appeared that Pilate, with all the might of Rome behind him, had asserted the Empire’s dominance, which nobody could resist or overturn.

It appeared that Jesus would be confined to history as just another Messiah-pretender or, more likely, be completely forgotten.

Earlier on Good Friday, when he encountered Pilate, Jesus declared that God’s kingdom was entirely different from what the Roman governor was used to (John 18:36-37). The religious leaders who decided Jesus had to die had missed entirely who Jesus was and what he was doing. He didn’t fit their kingdom's expectations or serve their interests; they completely missed the promised Messiah and what God was doing through him.

It appeared like things were unraveling for Jesus and his mission.

And yet… what was it he had said about the Kingdom of God?

It is like a grain of mustard seed – the smallest of seeds growing in the earth.

It is like yeast – working away invisibly to make the dough rise.

It is like hidden treasure – stumbled across by someone who wasn’t even looking for it.

There was more – much more – going on that Friday than it appeared.

Pilate and the religious leaders thought they were in charge, but God’s purposes that day were being fulfilled (John 12:23-28).

Pilate and the religious leaders thought they were putting an end to Jesus and his movement; literally putting it to death. But Jesus’ death gave way to resurrection and the defeat of sin and death. Captivity gave way to liberation. Despair gave way to hope. The movement kept spreading and continues to spread today.

This is the nature of the Jesus kingdom. What appears to be happening is often not the full story. Having faith means trusting that God is at work in small and big ways, many of which will be unnoticed by many, if not most. Participating in the kingdom means entrusting ourselves to the God who calls us, whatever that calling may look like.

In the midst of following Jesus in a complex and broken world, it means entrusting to him all that we do in his name, believing that nothing is wasted and all things will one day be transformed (Col. 1:19-20).

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