Pr. Jaynan Clark
April 5, 2012
From Palm Sunday until the door of the empty tomb, during this time that we call Holy Week, we hear the sounds of our salvation. They are disturbing.
A few weeks ago while my boys were out hiking in the woods they found something that at first looked like more garbage left behind by a litterer. Upon further inspection they found a styrofoam-type box with long strings attached and a note that explains it is from the National Weather service. It included instructions on what to do with it once it was found. This was the remains of one of those weather balloons that we hear about on the news or the Discovery channel. It had been launched from Massachusetts in 2010. It included inside a self-addressed mailing bag, postage paid. The electronic data box was visibly secured inside and one has to wonder what all it had recorded. If you look it up on line these balloons are huge and if one considers prevailing winds, the likelihood is that this device was carried east across the Atlantic Ocean, across Europe, Asia... maybe dipping down and up over remote areas, drifting across the Pacific and dropping in our woods here in little ol’ Nine Mile Falls. Amazing. Perhaps that was the route ...odds are it was as we know how the winds blow.
The winds through the streets of Jerusalem must have picked up the voices of the crowd as they waved their palms and stripped off their cloaks to cover the path ahead of the King, the One coming in the name of the Lord. The ‘hosannas’ rang out. The ‘blessings’ were audible and carried on the wind. Perhaps Jesus’ chosen mode of transportation also contributed to the winds with his brays and his passing of gas. Not much of a noble steed but then the crowd could forgive that public relations snafu at this point. The winds of change and conventional wisdom of the day declared loudly that Jesus was the winner, the long awaited One.
The winds blow, the grass waves, the religious leaders whisper, the street cleaners scoop and sweep up what is left behind from the parade. The winds of change are to prevail. Enough of the scribes, elders, and religious leaders had found Jesus’ words and ways disturbing in the months and days before His triumphal entry. Though they feared the crowd they knew how to use the crowd and the winds of change.
Whispers carry across water. Rumors carry around the corners and down the darkened streets and hallways. Threats murmured sift through the windows, under the doors and into ears that hear. Soon the wind will carry along the sound of coins, thirty silver pieces, jingling around in a bag. Soon the winds of change will pick up on the new name above every name... B---a—r—a---b--b—a—s! We choose Barabbas. Of course you do... so do we. The winds of change blow and reveal that sinners remain the same.
Praise Him! Hosanna! Quickly converge into angry shouts for this One’s death. “Crucify Him!” They scream and the wind carries it along, recording the information for another time and another place. Oh that we might remember and learn, as it is written. But the path of the prevailing winds that carry their voices and ours indeed prevail. They are drifting winds that allow the misdirected religious ones to convince “the crowd” that this One must go!
So Barabbas it is and shouts of joy and success ring out and the pounding of the nails as they form yet another cross for crucifixion are heard throughout the city. The rooster crowing three times in succession blows through the streets of time as a witness to our denial and self-preservation. The dirt and the rocks being dragged along with the blunt end of the wooden beam call all to another parade. Games and casting of lots, jeers and spitting and the crack of a whip and then the pounding, the pounding of the nails that blows from the hill of Calvary across all space, all time, and all people. The winds of change have prevailed.
The Devil laughs. And the winds carry on.
As the rock seals the tomb and the closure makes a final statement it is not a whisper but a shout. It is finished.
No sound in the wind as Jesus lies in the tomb alone. No rustling of the wind picks up the voices of the dead and those in the place of the dead--- Hell-- where He travels. Not a whisper.
Easter morning is still. The air is as empty and silent as the tomb. The wind has nothing to pick up beyond the voices of the angels for those gathered “said nothing to anyone because they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8)
The sounds of silence. The silence of Easter is disturbing as it should be. God is indeed in charge.