Behind the Scenes
Nothing is as simple as it appears. To most things in life there is a behind-the-scenes complexity that is known only to those intimately involved. For instance, we’ve heard that 90% of the iceberg lies submerged below the sea. A two-hour movie takes hundreds of hours to film, multiple costumes for each character, and sometimes years of legal wrangling to obtain filming rights. Or think about our bodies. What has been happening in our brains to enable us to read, decipher and understand the squiggles on this page is staggering. Reality is just that way; there is always more than meets the eye.
When the lifeless body of Jesus was lowered to the ground from the bloodied cross, hastily wrapped up and tucked into a nearby burial tomb, it seemed like the end of a dream. The sun set on that day. The Sabbath day came and went. Then early on the first day of the new week some women went to that tomb. They had spices. They wanted to do for their dead lord what there had been no time for on His dying day. Tradition demanded they pay Him this final honour.
But something had been happening behind the scenes in places much vaster than the confines of that dark tomb. Jesus, Son of God, the fullness and the exact representation of God was at work. We’re told He was “disarm(ing) (evil) powers and authorities, mak(ing) a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross”. He was “cancel(ling) the written code, with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us.” He was “reconcil(ing) to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven”; He was “making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19,20; 2:14,15).
That is definitely more than meets the eye. Its complexity fits, though, doesn’t it? Real things, things that take honest effort are like that, aren’t they? How much more must things involving God be full of behind-the-scenes action. So, how is this relevant to us, to our lives here and now?
I think that word ‘reconciling’ is the key for us. It speaks of relationship. It describes a broken relationship made right, a separation ended, an estranged alliance recovered. That is the way God sees it. He was heartbroken by the rebellion every one of us would defend as our personal right. He knows what that would actually mean for us beyond this world’s brief existence – absence from Him is only eternal darkness and terror, hatred and loneliness. But because we haven’t any way of seeing behind the scenes, we have to trust Him on this. He wants so much more for us. He knows that His presence alone is what gives us light and love, hope and meaning. So He came to earth for the express purpose of doing what it would take, playing by His rules of justice, to reconcile us.
That is what Easter is. That is what was happening those silent days between Jesus’ death and that first Easter morning. And that is why the resurrection is so relevant for you and me. Without it, we could not have the relationship with Him we were designed to have. Without it, we would be eternally lost, alone and afraid.
It makes perfect sense when we see what lies behind Easter. But we need to do more than admit that it’s reasonable. We need to be willing to accept the reconciliation He offers. It will mean life change—relationship always does. What Easter means is that now the behind-the-scenes work can be happening in us. God’s Spirit has a world of good to do in us to enable us to know Him in deeper ways, to transform our character, and to love others by His power.
As the singer/songwriter Don Francisco reminds us, “He’s alive! He’s alive and I’m forgiven, heaven’s gates are open wide!”
(Photo Credit: Andrew Kudin, Wikimedia Commons)