Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quite an Accomplishment

[From 5/31/12]

"Suddenly they saw two men, Moses & Elijah, talking to Jesus.  They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem."
(Luke 9:30-31)

When Jesus knew it was getting near the end of his mission and ministry (& life!), he started to let his disciples know what was coming (Luke 9:21-22).  But they didn't quite get it.  About a week later, Jesus took Peter, James & John up to a mountain to pray.  While there, Moses & Elijah appeared ("in glory") and were talking with Jesus.  Luke tells us they were "speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem."

Beyond the fact that Jesus was able to talk with two of the great legends of Israel's history, a couple of other things stand out to me.  First, they're talking with Jesus about the very thing eh was trying to tell his disciples about.  But instead of using the words "suffer... reject... kill..." they simply say "departure."  Meaning, death is not the focus (or the end).  It's a departure... from this world to God's Ultimate Kingdom.  Maybe that's why the disciples didn't get it.  They were focused too much on life & death issues.

Second, Luke tells us the "Holy Conference" centered around Jesus' departure in Jerusalem, "which he was about to accomplish."  This is another indication that the focus isn't on Jesus' death.  It doesn't take too much to "get killed."  That's usually done TO someone, not BY someone.  For Jesus to "accomplish" his departure, he'll have to bring everything he's been working for to fruition.  He'll finish his teaching & mission... and once that's accomplished, he'll depart from this world.

Again, it may seem like a game of semantics, but I see it as a HUGE distinction.  Jesus is the master choreographer in his passion scene.  Things aren't arbitrarily being done to him, he's accomplishing what he set out to do.  And it's not a death-wish, either.  It's part of the grand plan for the salvation of the world.

This reminds me that even for us non-Saviors-of-the-world, death is not the end.  There is a world beyond this one that we live on.  My job, then, is to accomplish whatever God calls me to do (right now, that's to be a husband, father, pastor & friend).  Keep focused on what's important in life.

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