Imagine Jesus by Thursday midnight. He is in a prison cell, exhausted, bruised and bloodied, most likely chained or bound. He is alone: He has been tempted to forego this whole nightmare, but has resisted it. He has, as expected, been falsely accused by His people and utterly rejected.
There is no one else in that cell–except you. Sitting there in vigil with Jesus, we ask Him our first question for Him, our Holy Thursday Question:
Why did You have to go through all of this?
Why does our redemption have to be paid at such a cost?
We don’t understand the Lord because the decision that He had made in Gethsemane that led to all this suffering defies logic.
Tonight we are invited not to rush into answering our Holy Thursday Question, but to stay with it, to allow that unanswered question to affect us.
Tonight we are invited not to rush to our Lord’s rescue because we can’t help Him. Rather, we are invited simply to stay with His suffering, to allow His pain and rejection affect us.
One of my quotes come from Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It.
Our Holy Thursday Question is the same question that our Lord asked–and wrestled with–in Gethsemane. He too did not get His answer. He chose to say “Yes” out of love because He chose to love even without the benefit of understanding.
There have been many occasions in my own life when I was bewildered by what the Lord was doing in my life, or the things that He was allowing to happen. My question to Him was: “Why?” But on such occasions, when we don’t get the answers we seek, we need to remember that we are being called to love the Lord without the benefit of understanding.
How often we insist on understanding as a condition for loving! Tonight Jesus is teaching us about unconditional love–and one of those conditions that we are sometimes asked to give up is understanding.
Tonight we are being invited to love God–even if we don’t always understand Him.