by Darren Pope
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Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going (John 12:35).
So little is documented about the first 30 years of Jesus’ life. It fascinates me and is something I have often thought about. I wonder what his daily life looked like, what his friends saw in him and how he handled puberty, pimples, pressure and prickly people. A lifetime of learning through a human lens, filled with authentic, unfiltered earthly encounters equipped Jesus for his time of ministry. He lived through experiences of great joy, deep sadness, friendship, rigorous dialogue, feeling smothered and just needing space and time to recharge.
I can’t help but think that, in his humanity, there must have been moments of doubt, anguish and fear about the journey of the passion that he knew of far in advance. Viewing this through the broken lens of my sinful humanity, I am in awe that Jesus didn’t just bail out, hide from God like Adam and Eve or do a runner like Jonah!
What we learn about the character of Jesus, being fully human and fully God, is astounding. Even with full knowledge of the shattering betrayals and horrendous suffering that lay ahead of him, Jesus hung in there. He even told his mates that the idea of suffering that made them recoil and cower was exactly why he had come to this time in his life. Jesus was in it for the long game, for the greater good and all people.
When stuff gets ugly in our lives, Jesus steps right into the middle of it, looks us in the eye and calmly says, ‘This is why I am here with you’. As sinners and saints, condemned by the law and freed by grace, it is so awesome to know that death and burial was not the finish of Jesus’ story. Real daily hope comes through knowing that Christ defeated the grimness of death and is risen. Lean into his unconditional love. He’s got your back!
Lord of love, there’s a tough week and a big day ahead. Thanks for being with me today. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Amen.