1 Kings 21-22 Luke 23:26-56
“When all the people who had gathered there to watch saw what happened, they returned home, beating their chests because they were so sad.” (Luke 23:48 NCV)
The crucifixion has so many lessons for us. Jesus forgave those involved in crucifying Him in an amazing act of forgiveness. The soldiers, indifferent to who they crucified, gambled for Jesus’s clothes. The religious leaders and Roman soldiers mocked Jesus as He hung on the cross. Even the criminals crucified next to Him mocked, although one sought and received Jesus’s favor. It would be worth spending a lot of time meditating on each of those situations. Today, this verse moved me. People had gathered to watch the crucifixion. When Jesus died, they went home beating their chests in sorrow. As I read this, I thought, “Well, what did you expect would happen?” I wondered if, perhaps, they’d been part of the mob outside Pilate’s palace screaming for His crucifixion and were sorry for their part in this spectacle. Then, another thought hit me. Perhaps, as followers of Jesus, they’d come to watch the crucifixion, expecting Jesus to save Himself, as the mockers called on Him to do, and come down from the cross. What if they stood there watching, in faith, waiting for a miracle to occur. They had a hope that survived until He died.
I don’t know if that’s what was going through their minds, but the way I read it, that’s a possibility. They had expectations that weren’t fulfilled. I wonder if they lost faith in God when they went home? If they did, the result, surely restored that faith. The resurrection was even better than what they expected since it showed God’s power over life and death. It’s easy to have expectations of how God’s going to act. It’s amazing how many times God doesn’t meet our expectations in the way we thought He would. What’s even more amazing is that the way He deals with the issue that concerned us is far better than we could have dreamed about. There will be times that we’re disappointed in how God responds to our desires. Those are the times we need to remember how God has provided in the past and trust Him with the future.
Lord, all that I’ve seen, leads me to believe all that I haven’t seen. You’ve always done far more than I’ve expected in the past. In those times when I get discouraged, remind me of that.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.