“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” John 19:31
Regularly Scheduled Programming
My son was on a competitive soccer team when he was a teen. He lived and breathed soccer, never missing a practice or game. But during a particularly competitive game, he got tripped up and broke his hand, resulting in a cast up to his elbow. The rules are that you can’t play with a cast. He was out for the season.
This frustrated and angered my son (who was already working through various other teen angst issues at the time). He insisted on at least going to the practices and games to support the team, hoping to be put back in by the coach in spite of the cast. When that didn’t result in playing time, he secretly began to cut away at the cast. Of course, we immediately put a stop to that. The whole episode was simply out of his hands (no pun intended.)
If we believe in a sovereign God, we must stand back and take a look at what He is doing. Even when we don’t understand why things have happened, we trust that He hasn’t left us alone to push ahead with our own plans. He interrupts our “regularly scheduled programming” at His will, and always for a good purpose.
In today’s Scripture, we see the Jews unwilling to leave Jesus half dead on the Cross any longer; they wanted to hasten His death. Hurry up and die, Jesus! We have work to do! Preparations to make for a holy day! They were scheduled to commemorate the day when the blood of a lamb saved the lives of their forefathers back in the days of their bondage in Egypt. Tragically, they did not see Jesus as the Lamb whose shed blood would save their own lives in the days of their current bondage to sin and death.
The message to us is clear: don’t hurry past what Jesus is currently doing to get back to whatever you were planning to do. Do we allow Him to interrupt our lives at any time, for any reason of His choosing? If we answer “yes,” this means that when upsetting things happen, when our lives suddenly change direction, when we are stopped in our tracks, then we go before Him and seek what He is doing in us or saying to us.
Most of us don’t tolerate interruptions very well, especially if they are forced upon us. If at all possible, we cut the interruption short so we can get back to our normal lives, as my son attempted unsuccessfully to do in trying to cut off the cast. “Now may the God of peace… make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight…” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
“Lord, help us to rest in Your interruptions. We submit to the things You want to teach us and the transformation You want to make. In all these things, we desire Your life above our own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”