This Tuesday of Holy Week is often called simply Holy Tuesday. This is a day when Jesus does a lot of teaching outside of the Temple. There are many passages today that we could look at which He taught from, but one of the suggested passages is the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids in Matthew 25: 1-13:
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. 11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
One of the things that Jesus kept teaching the disciples and all who would listen is that yes, He was going to Jerusalem and there He would be killed. But He would be raised again, so do not despair. Death would not have the final word, but He would overcome. But that was all that He was teaching. He told all who would listen that there would come a time when He would return. There will come a time when He will return and sickness, pain, death, would be no more. That sounds really good right about now, huh? In the midst of this pandemic, we see the reality of sickness, pain, and death.
Heard another person that I know who has been robbed of someone they love by COVID-19. I read today that this may be the worst week of the pandemic thus far. Holy Week. I pray daily for protection for those who I love, for those on the front lines and for all who are weak and sick now. I pray daily for a miracle cure and that lives can be spared. I know many of us pray that prayer each day.
But this week reminds us that Jesus prayed for the pain to pass. And He still drank from the cup that He wanted to pass. I think that one of the greatest gifts that He has given us is that we are not alone. That our God is not cold and indifferent to our pain, our fear, our loss, our everything. He walks with us. He wipes the tears from our eyes when we cry when we cannot breathe because of fear or anxiety, He gives breath to our lungs.
There will come a time when there will be no more sickness, pain, and death, and come quickly, Lord Jesus. But that time is not today. We are surrounded by all of these things today. “In the midst of life we are in death” as the old prayer says.
You are allowed to hurt. To be afraid. Exhausted. Frustrated. Broken. Angry. Whatever you are. You are allowed. It doesn’t mean you are a bad Christian. It means you are human. We will get through this. We will. But this hurt and fear and uncertainty are real for so many of us today.
To you, I offer you this solace. You are not alone. You are loved. And we are told today that the Groom will return for His bride. This moment will pass. Death will be defeated. It will be forever destroyed. We have that hope today. We do. We have it. Don’t lose it. God is with us. Emmanuel. This moment will not rob us of our hope. Cling to it, tighter today than ever.
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