Just watched Passion of the Christ again. I remember when my husband and I saw it in the theater. I had heard that after the movie audiences would sit in stunned silence. Not so in our theater — at the end we all started cheering and clapping. I was so glad that others there felt the same way I did. Is there anything more victorious than the ending scene, when Jesus, with holes in his hands, stands up to walk out of the tomb?
I was thankful the movie ended with that scene, otherwise the amount of violence shown would have been unbearable and purposeless. I can only imagine that I would have left the theater feeling something like, Ugh, that was brutal. What was the point of all that? In the same way, if all that we know of Jesus ended at the cross, what would be the point? Oh, how I thank God that’s not the case — death could not keep Him dead — He is alive!
So with all that in mind, here are a few things I think about at Easter. What did He do immediately after He rose from the dead? I wonder if He stretched His arms and legs and said, “Whew, glad that’s over.” Did He smile? Did He do a victory dance? A little shooby dooby doo? Did He simply look around, stand up and walk out? Did He and the Father high-five each other? Fist bump? Did the angels give him a robe to wear? Did He think about how He would show up and freak out His followers?
What does one do when He raises Himself from the dead?
Sometimes I think Jesus loves to mess with our little heads. Why else would He ask Mary, who was at His tomb, why she was crying? Or not reveal Himself to the two on the road to Emmaus? Or tell Philip “You feed them.” Or say to Peter, “Come on out, the water’s fine for walking on today.”
Even though He had told the disciples it would happen, what in the their life experience would make them understand He would rise from the dead after such a brutal ending to His life? Why else would He expect us to have faith for things we have no way to even conceive of believing for?
I don’t think He was angry or upset most of the times He said to His disciples, “Oh you of little (or no) faith. Don’t you get Who I Am yet?” I sometimes imagine He’d say it with a little smile and a hint of encouragement because He was watching their puzzled faces trying to grasp what was going on. Maybe He’d laugh with them as all of a sudden the light turned on and their amazement overwhelmed them.
We are so limited and limiting in every way. In our minds we limit what we think God can do, what God should do and how He should do it. We simply don’t get Him. I HATE this about myself. I can barely think outside the box. With God there is no box. He cannot be contained. His ways are mind-blowing to us. Why do we try to control and contain Him so much? If Peter had carried out his plans that night in the garden, Jesus would have never been arrested and then crucified — but then He wouldn’t have risen from the dead either. Where would that leave us?
Yes, I think Jesus loves to mess with our heads—always in our best interests and for His glory. He has to or we’d stay stuck in our teeny-tiny thoughts and ways. I have a few areas in my life that I should let go into His ever-loving hands—the hands that were scarred for me. With those hands He reaches out as He gently says to me, “Oh you of little faith, I overcame death and Hades for you, why do you still doubt?”
I don’t know Lord, help me.
I think I see a hint of a smile on His face.