I attended our church's Maundy Thursday service tonight. We had dramatic readings from the final days of Jesus from the perspective of several characters including Peter, Judas, and Pilate. I think the point is to understand the roles that led to the crucifixion of Christ. Holy Week is a sad journey that ends in triumph. The movement from Palm Sunday to Good Friday is a painful journey that reminds us how all that could be beauty, joy, and peace turns ugly so quickly. It reminds us how quickly the things we touch turn ugly, sour, and defensive. That we sent The Innocent to a cruel death reminds us how broken things are.
But tonight, I felt a special message from Christ. The character of Pilate began to explain his situation, his actions. I felt like he knew he was guilty, but somehow thought he could talk his way out of it. Then I thought of Judas, who likely thought he was doing something noble, and Peter, who just outright failed. Each expressed it differently, but each expressed sorrow, regret, that things had turned out the way they had. Here's where it happened. I could sense the presence of God expressing "it alright, everything is going to be ok."
Not a dismissive, "don't worry about it, it's no big deal." Not a nonchalant, "no problem, I've got it covered." But a sincere acceptance, "you're right, you messed up and it is costing me greatly-- but as ugly as this mess seems, I'm going to do something with it. You'll see. I'll take this mess and turn it around. I'll take your failure and make it success, I'll take your betrayal and set it straight, I'll take your weakness and find it's strength. It's dark and getting darker. I don't like this any better than you, in fact, this will hurt me more than it will you, I've got much more to lose. You've got us in a real fix tonight, but it's going to be ok, tomorrow's Friday... but Sunday's coming."