“The centurion…praised God…The people…. beat their breasts…Those who knew him…stood at a distance, watching these things.” Luke 23:47-49
The leaders thought they were in control of the situation. After all, they had ensured Jesus was nailed to a cross. They mocked him and beat him, and he did nothing. What could he do?
I wonder when the soldiers first noticed the sun had stopped shining. I wonder how the Pharisees reacted when the temple curtain tore apart. Do you think any of them started to feel as if they weren’t in control after all?
Did you notice how much control Jesus has even as he dies? In a loud voice and with one last breath Jesus gives his Spirit over to God the Father.
Compare that control to the unexpected reactions of the people nearby. The Roman centurion, of all people, is the one who praises God and remarks on Jesus’ righteousness. Did he even believe in God? The crowds beat their chests in lament. Why were they so sad? Weren’t they the ones who were just mocking Jesus? And the people who had followed Jesus stood at a distance and watched as if they had no idea what to do. It doesn’t seem that anyone there could even control their own reactions.
(Written by Scott DeVries https://today.reframemedia.com/devotions/unexpected-responses)
The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has also elicited many unexpected responses including stockpiling supermarket goods – especially toilet paper(!), turning to the Arts for comfort and reassurance, using humour to maintain some normality and strangers sacrificially caring and serving one another. None of us has any control over the situation we are in, and we can only choose to respond in a way that reflects our beliefs and values.
At the death and resurrection of Jesus, God was in control. During the COVID-19 crisis, God is in control. How have you acknowledged God’s control in your own life?
I pray this Easter that you will have time to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the enormous sacrifice He made for us all.
Bronwyn Wilson, Principal