Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. (John 13: 3)
Ever been in on a secret? Maybe it was a surprise party or a special recognition that you happened to know about, but the individual being celebrated had no idea. When you have the inside scoop on something, you can be more patient with folks that don’t know what you know with the full confidence that when it all comes to light, everyone will understand why you were acting the way you did because of what you have known all along.
My 25th wedding anniversary was such an occasion.
For over a year, I had been planning a special renewal of my vows to Teresa and lots of people were in on it, including her father – a retired pastor who had performed our wedding 25 years before. So on that Friday, August 8, 2006, we drove to her parent’s home in Horn Lake, Mississippi for what she thought was a routine visit with her folks. I told her to pack one nice outfit because we might go into Memphis sometime over the weekend for a special dinner celebrating our anniversary. What she didn’t know was that about 50 people – friends, family, and people from our wedding – were all headed to her home church, Twin Lakes Baptist Church, that very night. Her dad was in on it all along and had prepared a special message for the ceremony. I had worked with a jeweler to make the ring she had deserved all along, but that I could not afford when we got married. And now, I had that ring in my pocket.
I also had plane tickets for a special trip to San Francisco that would leave Saturday morning, while our kids would stay at her parents while we were gone. It was a beautiful plan – and it was going off like clockwork – until I asked her to change into that nice outfit.
She began to argue – “No, let’s not go tonight. Let’s go out tomorrow night. We just got here.” I insisted and she resisted. Finally I said, “Look, you are going to get dressed, and we are going tonight. So just get dressed and quit arguing about it.” It wasn’t until we pulled into the church parking lot and a bunch of cars were there that she began to ask, “Hey, what is going on here – what have you done?” It turned out to be a glorious night…one we will never forget! The work had been worth it!
When Jesus gathered with his disciples for what proved to be their last meal together, He knew something none of them could imagine. When Peter began to argue with Jesus over the Lord’s desire to wash his feet, it was painfully obvious Peter didn’t know the whole story. Verse three of this passage tells us that what Jesus knew would make the next three days faceable. Because Jesus knew exactly how this whole thing was going to turn out. And because of that, He could move forward through the tender moments of a final meal, the agony of the garden, the torture of the trials, the anguish of the cross, and the darkness of the tomb.
And you and I can move forward through the tender moments of life and the awful ones because of what we know, too. His victory over life, death, and the grave gives us hope for the same victory. So, when it all seems a little unbearable, remember what you know. We will win because He has won.
I can trust Him with the here and now because of what He knows. And that’s what I know, too.
Director, LifeWay Worship