Given the celebrations for this Easter weekend, I'd like to share an experience I had while writing my next book Jurisdictional Authority. The book is a study on the night Jesus was betrayed and more precisely what actually transpired when He was made as a transgressor (Luke 22:35-37). It has occurred to me that those three versus are the preamble to John Chapters 14-17 and Jurisdictional Authority will help us develop our placement as sons, an identity that Jesus ushered in on that night. Sons is not gender specific.
While writing, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to write about the 18 hours leading up to Jesus arrest and write like I was there. I began by writing in the third person but Holy Spirit stopped me with "Write like you were there". "You mean like I'm there watching the disciples?" I asked. "No, write like you were there" was the reply. "Like I was a disciple?" "Yes". Trying to understand, I asked "which one of the disicples?". "You" was the reply. "You mean like Simon and Simon, James and James, Judas and Judas, John, Matthew, Phillip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Andrew...and Dave? I asked half-joking. "Yes" was the response. Oh Man!
And so I did. I was given a grace to write as if I was one of the 12, now 13. I don't want to give away the book but I do want to tell you a little about the experience. All hindsight was removed as I was allowed to live those moments in history with my own emotions as they meshed into that painful night. I found I was upset with Jesus as I walked with the others to find the upper room. I found Peter's bravado irritated me; I found I had jealousies of the other disciples; I found that my history with Jesus over the previous three years wasn't adequate to comprehend Jesus current behavior. I didn't understand why, in the same manner as the Baptist, He was so determined to provoke those who could kill Him. I didn't understand why He washed my feet. I loved Him so much but His resolve to leave me left me angry and confused. When He said, "One of you will betray me", I thought it might be me.
The words of Jesus only grew in intensity after Iscariot left. He seemed determined to transfer to us what He carried but I wanted nothing to do with it. I was a soldier and content to simply follow orders. I was comfortable being His servant. I didn't want to be Him. I wanted Him to be Him and I'll be me - content to do His bidding. Just do what I'm told but without too much expectations. Jesus was the miracle worker, not me.
I found myself telling Him no, I didn't want to do the things He did. I didn't want the glory that the Father had given Him. I didn't want Him to leave. I didn't choose this.
For weeks after this awful experience I was left confused and wounded. One night, laying in bed, I cried out to Jesus. Why did you make me go through that? Why did you make me say NO to you? Jesus response was kind and full of love. "Because I needed you to experience what you were saying NO to, so you could truly know what you were saying YES to".
In this wondrous season, let us all ask Him what we have been saying NO to. Leave that NO at the cross. Then say YES. #berevealed