The followers of Jesus must have seen his crucifixion as a terrible defeat and the end of their fondest hopes and dreams for the future. Even though Jesus had told them again and again what was coming, their eyes seemed to be so full of the joy and blessing that Jesus was bringing to the world around them that they could not take His message in. At times they even opposed his forecast of suffering. In spite of all this, look at the world changing good that has come from what Jesus did on the cross. From man’s side the cross was an evil act, but from God’s side it was a life changing and world changing victory.
Fast forward to 2020. Most of the people now living have never seen anything like this plague that is causing so much pain and death around the world. The various wars were certainly horrific, but life for many was relatively normal even in those times. It is hard to realize how few people now living even remember World War II as a conscious memory during their lifetime.
This morning I was in a virtual meeting in which I had a dialogue with pastors and Christian leaders. Every one of us said that our people are watching broadcasts on the internet at greater numbers than we typically have in attendance on a given Sunday. I have heard many testimonies of people searching for hope and purpose during these days. Could it be that God is shaking the things that may be shaken in order to push His people toward the unshakable things of our fatih? (Hebrews 12:27) If God grants the revival that many of us have prayed for over the past decades because of this pandemic, then good will come out of evil once again. From the human side, all suffering comes from sin. From God’s side suffering can bring about redemption. One thing is certain. God is in ultimate control.