April 13. Reading and Leading Up to Easter. John chapter 19.

Thursday, April 13               John 19

The End – or the Beginning?

One of my favorite characters from history is Winston Churchill.  His bravery, clarity, and skill at turning a phrase was crucial in the unfolding of 20th Century history. At the depths of World War II drama, he said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

As we read John chapter 19, it appears the forces of evil have finally silenced the voice of Jesus.  He is scourged, spitten upon, crucified, and buried. But, this is not the end. It is the end of the BEGINNING!

In three day, He will rise from the dead more powerful than ever. While I am not a huge Star Wars fan (it’s a fascinating cultural myth), I am reminded of Obe Wan Kenobi’s words in the original “Star Wars”: “IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN, I SHALL BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.”

 That is exactly the story of Jesus.  The forces of world evil coalesced to put Him down. Yet, He rose!

 It is worth our time to plumb the depths of each moment in this “John chapter 19 drama.” Read it slowly and savor the depth. Face value: Jesus loses. But from big picture: HE WINS.

And He can win in your life.  No matter how dire the circumstances. We believe in the power of resurrection. This is “God territory.” Submit yourself to the living God through His Son Jesus Christ, and your worst days can become the set-up for your greatest victories.

This is the Gospel.  This is the story of Jesus. This can be your story, too. ONLY BELIEVE! This is scandalously simple – simple enough for you and me.