This is the week that allows us to dream- all the rest of the days of the year- about stories of reconciliation and restoration and redemption and rescue and repair. This is the week the Lord wrote with incredible intentionality, from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday. Every detail is rich with meaning. The story started before the beginning of time, but go with me back to Genesis 15, when God was talking to Abraham about two promises for him – 1. He would have as many descendants as stars in the sky and 2. the land in which they’d dwell.
To offer faith to Abraham, God gave him a blood path covenant – something that would have spoken to him at the time, it would have been familiar. He directed Abraham to get some animals, cut them apart, (except for the birds) and allow a bloody path to be formed between their split carcasses. In that culture, when they walked through a blood path, it signaled to each other, and anyone watching, “If I break my end of the deal, I’ll pay the price with my blood.”
When the Lord directed Abraham to do that, He knew He would keep His end of the bargain perfectly, but He also knew Abraham and his descendants wouldn’t be able to keep a perfect covenant with a perfect God, so He put him to sleep. Then He walked through that blood path covenant – on behalf of himself, and again, on behalf of Abraham, (and of his descendants – of which we are.) Abraham wouldn’t keep his end of the covenant, so Someone would have to pay the price with blood – and that brings us to this week we’re in now.
Ever since this agreement, the priest took the blood of that day’s sacrificed animal and splashed it on the altar at 9:00 and 3:00, while blowing a shofar, signaling a moment to remember the promise they had with a perfect God. Reading from Luke 23, on crucifixion Friday, Jesus was nailed to the cross at 9:00 am and He hung on the cross for six hours – until that second shofar blew at 3:00 p.m.
This means: We have a God who is always perfectly on time, and we can trust Him with the details of our story. We can ask Him with confidence to enter into stories without clear ending and messy middles. Those stories are the ones He died for, and the ones He planned on intervening in. When we ask Him to reconcile and redeem, we are making room for Him to be who He always planned to be- our Savior.