Daily D – Matthew 28:11-15
Matthew 28:11-15 “While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”
“Well, Seargent, you are now a wealthy man. And you are going home to Rome. All of your dreams must have just come true, eh?”
“Dreams have not been my friend the last couple of days.”
“I have not slept much to begin with. I find myself startled awake repeatedly.”
“Startled by what?”
“The prisoner. The man in the middle. The way he looked at me when we laid him down. The way he looked at me when he took the nails. The way he looked at me while he was on the cross. No matter what I did or which way I turned that day, his eyes were all I could see. He saw me. He looked not just at me, but into me.”
“Uh huh. Well, it’s good that you are going home now. Your long stay here in the backwater of the universe has tainted you. You’ve lost your edge. Maybe it’s time you tried another line of work. I hear they are looking for guys like you for the games at the Colosseum.”
“Listen to me a moment more, my lord. The ravings of a man crazed by lack of sleep and frontline duty should prove entertaining if nothing else. This man, the man in the middle, the one we mocked as King of the Jews, when he visits my dreams, he calls me by name. He shares my memories, and not just the ones from the day we met, the day he died. It is as if he has been my unseen companion throughout my life.”
“An invisible friend? I thought we were supposed to grow out of that phase when we little children.”
“Not invisible. Not imaginary. Real. Like you and me talking now.”
“Seargent, if you keep talking like this, I will have to sign dishonorable discharge papers for you.”
“What if I refuse to return to Rome?”
“What? Are you mad? Are you truly a stark-raving lunatic? What has happened to you?”
“Sir, there are some things we cannot unsee. There are some dreams more real than our daily lives. There are some realities greater than the life we now live. If you send me home to Rome, please know I will take this story, this memory with me. I will not, cannot, forget or get over what happened the last few days.”
“One more word, Seargent, one more word and you are as good as dead to the Emperor.”
“Tell me, Lord Pilate, how are your wife’s dreams these days? I heard her tell you to have nothing to do with that righteous man before you agreed to crucify him. How does she rest?”
“She doesn’t. Which means I don’t. Which means I have no reserves for listening to tales of dead men walking and untimely earthquakes and darkness in the middle of the day and . . .”
“Ah, I see now. You see him in your dreams too, don’t you? Just curious. What does he say to you? Does he tell you what he told me? Does he say, ‘I forgive you?’ If he can forgive you who condemned him to death, and me who put him to death, and the criminal crucified alongside him, well, who could he not forgive? How could we not receive such forgiveness? How could we not be touched when he reaches out to us in our dreams and calls us by name and summons us into the relationship he started with us before we ever knew his name? I don’t know about you sir, but I am not a mad man. What I have seen with my own eyes, what I have experienced deep within me, this is as real, more so even, than anything I have ever known. Even if I now deserve that dishonorable discharge, even if my fate is sealed and I go to prison, to the colosseum, or to death, I will not go alone, I will not cross that river into the realm of the dead. As he lives, Sir, I will live with him. I said it before. I say it again. Surely, this man is the Son of God. That is my confession. That is my profession. What do you say?”
I will tell the wondrous story of Jesus and his love.
Our Father, thank you for seeing me. Thank you for knowing me. Thank you for drawing me to yourself. Thank you for including me in your family. Thank you that we can call you Our Father because of what Jesus accomplished on that cross and in the resurrection. Because of what he did, we can know and experience you now and forever. Fill our moments and days with your grace. We will fill our lives with your praise. We will sing hallelujah and we will invite others to know you, to experience you, and to see you for who you are. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.