I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven. – Vs 62
Jesus' days on this earth were coming to a close. In this chapter we find Him anointed by Mary with costly perfume, eating the Passover meal with His disciples for the last time, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, and then being betrayed by one of His own followers into the hands of the religious leaders who have long waited for this moment. This is a bitter-sweet chapter that is full of emotion. The mood seems to swing from joy and celebration to anger, sorrow and deep melancholy. It starts with threats of death and is followed by an act of sacrifice by a woman who was extremely grateful. The Passover meal was supposed to be a celebration, a commemoration of God's redemption of the people of Israel out of slavery. But it was turned into a time of disappointment and disillusionment as Jesus revealed His coming betrayal and death. For 72 verses this chapter is a roller coaster of emotion. But in verse 62, there is a bright shining moment of hope and anticipation. It is a glimmer of light in the darkness of despair. And it jumps off the page as a reminder that this story has a very happy ending.
"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Does it bring a smile to your face? It should. Right when everything is looking like it has all gone wrong, when the joy has been replaced with darkness and despair, when it feels like the bad guys are going to win, Jesus reveals the ending of the story. For the disciples, it appears as if everything has gone wrong. So much so, that after Jesus' arrest, they all go into hiding. Peter ends up denying Him. But Jesus knew something they didn't know. God had set this stage and knew how the story was going to end. Jesus revealed it in His statement in verse 62. It reminds me of a song by David Wilcox. In his lyrics, he talks about the author of a play who wants to write about love being greater than hate. So he writes his play to make it look like hate is going to win. When everything is at its darkest, and the audience is expecting the worst to happen, the author of the play reveals what he has known all along: But it's love that wrote the play...
If someone wrote a play
To just to glorify what's stronger than hate
Would they not arrange the stage
To look as if the hero came too late?
He's almost in defeat
It's looking like the evil side will when
So on the edge of every seat
From the moment that the whole thing begins
It is love who mixed the mortar
And it's love who stacked these stones
And it's love who made the stage here
Although it looks like we're alone
In this scene, set in shadows,
Like the night is here to stay
There is evil cast around us
But it's love that wrote the play
For in this darkness love can show the way
Now the stage is set
You can feel your own heart beating in your chest
This life's not over yet
So we get up on our feet and do our best
We play against the fear
We play against the reasons not to try
We're playing for the tears
Burning in the happy angel's eyes
– Show the Way, David Wilcox, Universal Music Publishing Group
Love wrote the play. God has an ending to this seeming tragedy called life. And it will involve His Son coming again in power and authority to play the role not of the suffering Servant, but conquering King. Jesus knew something the disciples didn't know – how the story was going to end. And we need to remind ourselves daily that when it looks like there is evil cast around us, and the night is here to stay – it is Love that wrote the play.
Father, all I can say is "Thank You!" You have written the play and it has an incredibly joyful ending. Help me keep my eyes focused on the last scene where the great I Am enters to restore this crazy, sin-filled world back to the way it was always meant to be. Thank You! Amen