Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It makes things nobody can foresee seem blindingly obvious. Like watching a repeat of a penalty shoot-out, it’s obvious which way the keeper should dive when you’ve seen the end.
I’ve been trying to get into the minds of Jesus’ disciples as we’ve been reading through the final days, and trying to imagine what they were feeling without the advantage of hindsight. They knew – knew! – the Messiah couldn’t die because God wouldn’t let that happen, and certainly not like a common criminal. So they would have always thought Jesus had a plan, another plan, a better plan. As the hours passed from the final supper to the garden and the arrest and their hopes for this plan b began to fail… what was going through their minds?
And then I was reading a book this afternoon and there was a chapter which brought to mind something of the conversations the disciples would have been having after Jesus resurrection. You know, that really awkward bit after the Mary’s have said they’ve seen Jesus, and then Peter says the same… but they can’t make the pieces fit together. Would you?! I imagine these conversations where they argue – ARGUE!! – using words the NIV certainly wouldn’t translate.
I was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I know, I’m a few years late in discovering it’s actually a really good story! In chapter 22, entitled The Deathly Hallows, Harry is beginning to piece together the story; he has discovered new information and that enables him to begin reinterpreting what he already knew. Stories from the past, prophecies they never knew existed because you wouldn’t until you have hindsight.
Like the disciples, poring through the Scriptures (our Old Testament) and seeing references to the details of Jesus’ life that they couldn’t have known before. Being brave enough to think their thoughts out loud, thoughts they knew sounded ridiculous and like they were trying to force Jesus into a story… what if… what if…
What if Jesus is the Messiah, what if when he talked about being raised in 3 days he actually meant it… what it the temple he talked about was his body… what if he has brought the resurrection forward to now… what if he is the one the prophets talked about… what if he is the suffering servant from Isaiah… maybe this is the new covenant from Jeremiah…
Thomas, what do you think?
When Harry began to piece the story together he was met with scepticism, but he had to stick it out. Trust. It seemed unbelievable. When the disciples began to piece the story together they were met with scepticism, but they had to stick it out. Trust. It seems unbelievable. When we begin to piece the story together… it must seem unbelievable.
To me, it does. If it ever isn’t, we’re missing something. But hindsight shows us that Jesus did have a plan, that there is an ending. Sometimes you have to die to get there.
But thankfully it’s Jesus, not a stone, that brings resurrection. Hallowed be your death. And your life.