By Pastor Mary Fuller
United Methodist Church, Wallace
Now is the time of reflection. The Lent journey took us through Holy Week to the cross, Jesus’ crucifixion and Easter morning came with the Risen Christ Jesus.
At the Maundy Thursday service there was the “Portrayal of the Last Supper.” The congregation was told about each of Jesus’ disciples, a pause, then Judas Iscariot leaves, dropping the coins of betrayal on the way behind him. They shared a meal, it was served—all part took of the meal.
As his disciples returned to the table, each taking their place, I noticed an empty chair. I searched the faces to see who was missing. My heart sank as I remembered it was Judas. Not everyone did partake of the meal.
He had missed out not only on the meal but on hearing the good news “…of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
He missed out on hearing the good news as Mary arrived with, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18).
He missed out on the message that Jesus called his disciples “brothers,” that they should “go to Galilee” and they would see him there (Matthew 28:10).
At the Good Friday service, it is one of those services you would like to make it upbeat, somehow, but know in your heart that that wasn’t the way it was.
Life has hurt, suffering and pain. It is something that we all experience at one time or another and Jesus, human as we are, had hurt, suffering and pain…and death–a terrible death. “The Seven Last Words” of Jesus were expressed Friday evening through his crucifixion.
We can’t say, “Christ is risen!” without recognizing the death of Jesus first. That his death was for all people, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Don’t miss out. He waits for you. Christ is risen!