1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Watching Yeshua (Jesus) lay down His life to die on the cross was not what His disciples were expecting, but rather a shocking, perplexing, and apparently hopeless ending to what had seemed like a promising fulfillment of Messianic hope. The shattering ordeal of Yeshua's trials, torture, and horrific death must have left them all feeling bereft, miserable, and uncertain of the future. What would they do now? What would their future hold?
This past year with its shocking developments, a "pandemic" promoting a gigantic paradigm shift, has left many of us in a similar condition, perhaps not as severe, yet not without much of the same emotions and challenges, especially the sense of uncertainty about our future.
As deep and depressing as their shock was, Yeshua's disciples had only to wait three days for the restoration of their vision, hope, and joy. A massive inversion of their reality, exactly what He had predicted, His bodily resurrection, was another shock, but this time...indescribable joy, wonder, and phenomenal relief; and a restoration of meaning, purpose, and vision which carried them the rest of their lives.
As His disciples, our life often follows this pattern: trial, testing, perplexity, suffering, despair, etc.....which then yields to the opposite feelings and experiences of hope, healing, restoration, relief, and the faith and character which emerge along with vision and renewed purpose.
As our Lord knew before He died that He would rise again, He also knows the good things which He portends for the future of His disciples, that is, us, who have been passing through a season of stress and uncertainty. He really, truly wants us to believe in the rest of this wild story; to really and truly accept the fact that He will, again, turn the world upside down as "all things work together for good for them that love God and are the called according to His purpose"!
Witnessing and being exposed to the serious and nasty things that are happening around us now, how can we imagine that anything good can emerge from it all? The future seems bleak and downright frightening. But let us remember the Lord's cross -- His disciples' shock and despair...and the predicted, inevitable resurrection which followed!
Be at peace as we approach 2021, remembering the unalterable pattern God has given us in the revelation of His Son. Enter the new year assured in your faith foundation —and the secure expectation that once again, with Him, as the Apostles did 2000 years ago.....we too, will "turn the world upside down".