It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
I’ve never read A Tale of Two Cities, but I like to quote it as if I had. But this quote surfaced in my mind when I considered the perspective of people who were there the week of the trial and execution of Jesus. Those who were close to him or even the curious followers must have been confused, scared. This was not what they had in mind. He was supposed to be the King of the Jews to bring their nation back to its rightful place, but here he is being dragged away by guards. It was the best of times, it was suddenly the worst of times.
He taught us so much, did all of that mean nothing? It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.
There was the Perfect one, treated as a criminal? It was the spring of hope, it was suddenly the winter of despair.
The more I analyze all the aspects of that week, there’s chaos, dichotomy, so many contradicting events, back-and-forth, and contrasting scenes.
- It was the most depressing of scenes, but hopeful if you knew the purpose
- They Feared who Jesus was, contrasted with his bravery and steadiness
- You had Judas betray and Peter deny, but John and Mary never left His side
- There’s filthiness of our sin, the cleansing power of His blood
- The stubbornness of the crowds and the forgiveness given to them
- It was an Ugly scene, and beautiful
- They thought they defeated Him, but he triumphed over sin
- They took his life, He gave His life
- Crowds were angry, Jesus was at peace
- They were full of hate, Jesus is love
- While he was hurting, he was healing us
- A crown… of thorns
- A Robe… to mock him
- Buried then risen
- The accusation was he claimed to be God, and that’s exactly who He is
- It was seemingly the End, but really just the beginning
The good news for us is that we don’t have to be confused or scared, we’re not in the days before the cross, we’re in the days after He rose. We have the full picture of what He did and why. There is no more dichotomy. There is no conflict. It was exactly as it needed to be. And in comparing the actions of Jesus to all the actions and situations around him, it only makes his glory shine that much brighter. Death has become life. Night has become day. Lost has become found.