Tuesday, January 31, 2017
We know they were there. They had to be. What happened could not have happened without them. But, their presence is close to invisible until the deed is done. Along the way through Jerusalem, they prodded Him with their spears, slung insults and curses down upon Him, and hurried Him as if they were being paid by the job and not by the hour. However, it is only when the cross is in the air and Jesus is well on His way to dying that the gospel writer reveals their presence on that horrid stage. No names are given. Just four soldiers. We only know there are four because the gospel writer says, "...they took His clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier." (John 19:23) They cast lots to see who would take home His seamless tunic.
What a moment. These four guys were in the presence of the Son of God, the One sent from God to save them from sin's destruction, but they could only see a piece of human flesh to destroy, a duty to be done, and an opportunity to take a souvenir home. They were there and missed it all. Sometimes it happens like that for us. It has happened so many times in worship moments where the people of God gather. Some experience the fire and life of holy presence and others go about the task of doing their duty. But, far more are the times when Jesus shows up in some needy sufferer and we are so busy with the stuff that has to be done that we simply look and see a homeless person, a poor soul, or a body waiting on death instead of seeing the presence of Jesus within them.
Encounters abound in the world. But, we have to have eyes to see. We have to have a heart that is open. We have to have a spirit that is not just the human spirit, but a spirit that is holy and enables us to see the world and those around us through the eyes of the One who suffered and died on the cross. His view of the world from up there in the air is always so different than ours. We see so little and He sees so much. "Father, help us see the world and its people through the eyes of Your Son."