Saturday, April 07, 2007

Woman, why are you crying?

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: I Samuel 19, 20, 21, 22

John 20:13 (NIV)
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Now faith is the substance of all things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Good morning!

Salome sat up and rubbed her eyes. She could feel the sting from the hours spent crying yesterday. The Master that she loved more than herself, was gone. Just forty-eight hours ago, Salome had helped prepare the Passover feast for her Lord to eat. She, along with Mary Magdalene and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, prayed together that night, asking for strength and understanding. That meal had been really strange. Jesus had taken a slice of unleavened bread from the basket she placed on their table, and she watched as He broke it into two pieces. Jesus held the bread up toward the heavens and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.” He knew he was going to die, but why this? Salome had many questions and no one to ask. Jesus used to answer all of Salome’s questions, as she sat at His feet, listening for hour upon hour as He spoke. “His body will do him no good now,” she thought, as she washed her hands in the large bowl, sitting near the upper room window overlooking the city. The streets were quiet - really quiet. The joy of children playing and birds singing had vanished. Would she ever feel joy again?

Salome stayed at the cross with Mary. She wondered who had suffered more – the mother or her Son. No mother should have to experience the loss of a child, and especially on a hill called Golgotha, the place of the skull. When the Roman guard finally allowed Jesus’ body to be taken down from the tree, Salome was relieved. She could not bear to watch the vultures feast on His flesh. Salome helped wrap her Lord in the burial clothes. The blood of Christ had left stains under her fingernails and on the palm of her hands. Jesus’ body had literally been shredded by the cruel lashing he received just before he was crucified. Salome wondered if she would ever be able to completely wash His blood from her hands. Maybe she didn’t want to. It was all she had left of her Lord.

“How strange,” Salome thought, as she stared at the city gate from the window. “Jesus rode through the beautiful gate on a donkey just a few days ago. The people worshipped and praised His coming. The very same people who shouted ‘Hosanna’ were the ones who shouted ‘Crucify Him’ before Pilate. How can a person’s heart change so quickly?” Salome wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks once again. She wondered whether the tears would ever end.

Like Salome, we sit in our prayer closets today, wondering why Jesus had to die, especially the way He did. His disciples and faithful followers had all fallen away in fear that day. They thought Jesus had come to reclaim the city for God, to overthrow the heavy hand of Roman rule, and to make the temple a place where people could pray and worship the Father. Salome’s vision was blurred as she wept with a sad heart. Sometimes, we struggle with our vision too. We read the words of the Easter account and find our hearts are filled with grief and pain. His sacrifice is more than we can bear. Salome had no idea what was about to happen. We sit and wait with Salome, desperately seeking the dawn of a new day.

The greatest miracle was happening right before her very eyes, and Salome couldn’t see it. Can you see what is happening? Are you ready to experience the power of our risen Christ, and be totally transformed? New life awaits. Hope is hanging in the wings.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: courage to share the Good News with everyone you know. Will you hide behind your salvation, fearing what may happen if you share it with someone else, or will you jump up and down, waving your hands and singing, He is alive! He is alive!
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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