Easter is always a season that makes me pause. Makes me think. This year has really been no different. This time the thinking comes courtesy of the 4th-6th grade kiddos I spend my Wednesday nights with.
Over the last weeks, we’ve studied Lent. And talked about Jesus and what his last weeks and days on earth were like. Last week we talked specifically about the events that led up to the day that we have named Good Friday. One thing that stood out to my kids was that the people chose freedom for Barabbas. Freedom. For Barabbas. The cross for Jesus. My kids just couldn’t believe that the people would choose a murdering criminal over Jesus. As they talked about how crazy that was, God dropped a thought into my mind. And I know it was God because never have I ever had this thought before.
What if the people had given Jesus the freedom and sent Barabbas to the cross?
I asked the kids that question and the silence that filled the room was very similar to the silence that filled my mind. We talked through how everything would have been turned on its head had Jesus been given His freedom. We talked about how that seemingly crazy choice to free Barabbas is actually what led to our salvation. We talked about how the people were wrong and indeed crazy to choose Barabbas over Jesus. But that we knew Jesus had to go to that cross.
How different would the world look had the crowd given Jesus freedom? How different would the Bible read? I’ve thought a lot about these things over the last week. All I can get to is that I’m so thankful that Jesus went to that cross. I’m so thankful the people were blinded by their fear of Jesus. I’m so thankful for the cross.
This thought of what if it hadn’t gone wrong that day has stuck with me. Because for the followers of Jesus, they certainly felt that it all went wrong when the people chose freedom for Barabbas. But after a few agonizing days, they saw that it really all went right.
We walk through things in life when it just seems to all go wrong. When it seems that a choice that we made or someone else made has just turned our world upside down. It’s so hard to see in the thick of it that maybe, just maybe, things are actually going exactly right. Exactly right for what God needs to do in us and through us. That hard, agonizing, heart breaking thing could very well be leading us down a path where all things are made new. Where the pain, hurt and maybe even death (death of relationship, death of a dream or even physical death) bring about the perfected plan of God in our lives. And a restoration of all that we thought was lost.
As Easter approaches, I can’t help but think about how it seemed to all go wrong. It seemed to all be at an end. But God doesn’t work in what we see. If it seems to all be going wrong right now, hold tight for the day when God makes it right. If it seems to be at a painful end right now, watch for your new beginning.
Just when you think it’s all gone wrong, WAIT. God is working behind the scenes making things right.