So, Passover week didn’t go quite the way the disciples had planned. Let’s face it, it was quite the let down. The week began with palm branches and a donkey’s colt, a triumpant entry. It was the ushering in of a new kingdom. Israel would be restored. By week’s end, however, their teacher, the man who would be king was beaten and disfigured, crucified and buried in a tomb.
By week’s end they were without their leader, their teacher, without instruction and fearing for their own lives.
It was over.
Hope had come and gone. Then, three days later, there he was…again; Holes in his wrists, a puncture wound in his side; Talking. Laughing. Eating. Alive again.
I guess after three years of walking on water, healing cripples and outcasts, commanding the forces of nature, multiplying a dinner for two to feed five thousand, and raising people from the dead, this sort of thing would be expected, considered paltry or ordinary, perhaps. Perhaps not…
Jesus would be with them another forty days and, at the end of the those forty days, they asked him one question. One question that, as i reflect, is filled with intense hope, and great expectation. I mean, seriously, after all the things the disciples had seen who could blame them for being a little worn out? Who could blame them for asking, Lord, what’s the deal?
And so, they asked “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom of Israel?”
He answered them by saying “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee, they said, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-11 NIV)
We read the inspired words penned by those who came before with a bit of clerical distance now. Culture and the passage of time often can leave us disconnected, distant from pristine inflection and intention of these poignant passages. Who knew that the Passover, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection would be summed up in one question: “Lord are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom of Israel?”
Though we read with distance now, we know still something of what the disciples felt for we feel it as well. We know His work in us and in the world is not yet finished. Many times i ask, in a more personal way, “Lord are you at this time going to restore me? Are you going to make right all that i think is wrong?” (even though he already has)
And even more so we, along with the disciples, ask “LORD, is it time?” We know the world is not yet as it should be, and things are not yet set right. We know His work is not yet finished. So we are left longing for more. And what is the LORD’s response to our longing? He clearly tells us that things will be, in the Father’s time, made right and until then we must go on worshiping, glorifying, and seeking Him more fully. Paul’s echoes this beautiful sentiment “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror- then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12
Though understanding and knowledge are important, they are not always a prerequisite for obedience. It’s always good to ask questions but I we may not be in a place where we can comprehend the answers and, sometimes, if we simply obey, all of our questions will be answered in the process of obedience. How else would we learn and be amazed? How else is trust and faith developed? Our sole purpose as believers, as children of the living God, is to obey all His commands. We must then trust in the fidelity of the one who gives us commands, that somewhere in the process, either through it or at the end, all of our questions will be answered.