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When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 NRSV

Sometimes, in the summer months in Indiana, we would have tremendous thunderstorms. The sky would suddenly grow dark, and on the horizon, you could see lightning, followed by peals of thunder. As the storm drew closer, it became even more intense. Sometimes trees would be splintered by the lightning, and the thunder would shake the whole house. Then, as it passed over, you could glimpse a brush stroke of brightening skies beyond, and shortly after that, a rainbow would follow.

For Jesus' disciples, that day at the cross must have felt like a tremendous spiritual thunderstorm. As they watched, their friend and teacher, the Son of God, hung between two thieves, dying. Helplessly they stood as the hours ticked slowly by, one, two, three, four, five, then six. Then, finally, Jesus gasped his last words, “It is finished," and died.

Devastated as they were, it's doubtful they saw a brightening on the horizon. Though Jesus had told them he would rise from the dead, it surely didn't feel like it on that day. But it was coming! Friday, Saturday, then Sunday morning, the storm had passed, and the rainbow they awaited, the empty tomb, was there for all to see. Christ has Risen! Hallelujah! Amen!

Gracious and loving Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Sometimes in our lives, we see only the thunderstorms, and their intensity is almost too great to bear. Then remembering what Christ did for us, we see the brightening on the horizon. Though we can't yet see the rainbow, we know it's coming. Christ died for us. Christ walks with us. Thanks be to God the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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