Exodus 35:10-36:38; Matthew 27:32-66; Psalm 34:1-10; Proverbs 9:7-8
My friend, Ann, is skilled with her hands. She not only cooks from scratch and sews, but she is also a potter. She once made lunch for several dozen women, threw a vase for each one on her potter’s wheel, filled each vase with flowers and gave them as a favors. She can not only tile a kitchen counter, she can even make the tile! She is like Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 35 and 36, “with skill and knowledge and ability in all kinds of crafts.” Just as Bezalel and Oholiab used their skill to build the Tabernacle, so Ann uses her skills to construct food, pottery and crocheted blankets to serve others.
The New Testament passage today stands in sharp contrast to the Exodus reading. In the NT, we see de-struction, not con-struction. Or at least that is how it appears. Everything Jesus had planned is falling apart, or so it seems in Matthew 27. Jesus is crucified by the Jews and Romans, forsaken by his disciples, and then, most horrible of all, he is forsaken by his Father in his moment of greatest anguish. A few dear women, Mary Magdalena and others (including the mother of Zebedee’s sons who had previously asked for seats of honor in the Kingdom for her sons), watch at a distance as Jesus dies alone. A horrible, disgraceful death. Even the robbers on the other crosses tormented and despised Him. This is the saddest day in history.
But Psalm 34: 5 encourages us to hope: “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
The shame and horror of the cross is real; but it is not the end of the story.
It is the beginning of the story.
- Nell Sunukjian
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