A closed door often seems like the end and if you choose, could define you. Unfulfilled dreams, family illness or job loss are all transitions in life that could leave you feeling defeated.
Join us Easter Sunday at one of our Community of Faith campuses as we talk about closed doors and the transitions in life and the hope that lies on the other side.
The Garden – Closed doors can be so painful. I was talking to a friend of mine who was applying for a promotion at work. He was excited, hoping to move up and better himself and his family. He went through the whole process. After nailing the interview, he began having feelings of anticipation and excitement. Waiting stinks. Fear and enthusiasm both gear up in the waiting process. The day came to find out who received the promotion and in a moment, the door was closed. Pain was what he was feeling. “Why didn’t I get the promotion?” Tears came and the thoughts of letting his family down set in. At times like this in our lives, we feel hopeless, defeated and empty.
The night Jesus was arrested had to be so painful for the disciples. Talk about a closed door. The One they had followed for 3 years is being taken into custody. Where did that leave them? Feeling hopeless, defeated and empty. What now? Where will we go? What will we do? Closed doors make us feel like all is lost! When a door closes in our face, all we can see is that giant door screaming “All is lost!” But is it?
Jesus Arrested – Luke 22:47-53 New International Version (NIV)
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?”
50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?
53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
The Cross – Physically seeing your dreams shattered. The one college you hope to attend sends you a letter of unacceptance. The 5-star recruit blows out a knee during their senior year of high school. Losing a loved one you weren’t ready to see go. Families turned upside down from floods in Houston and hurricanes in Louisiana. Can we even fathom how many hopes and dreams were lost on 9/11? When have you seen your dreams fall apart and all hope lost? A closed door that stripped you of your dreams?
The picture of seeing Jesus on the cross is one of the most vivid closed doors I can imagine seeing. His disciples looking at their teacher hanging on a cross. Mary, the mother of Jesus, at his feet mourning her son and finding no comfort. Thinking back to the night when the angel of the Lord appeared to her saying, “You will become pregnant, give birth to a son and name him Jesus. He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever and his kingdom will never end.” The dream the Angel of the Lord had given Mary years before now looks like a closed door. Seeing our dreams hanging on a cross leaves little room for hope.
Luke 23:32-33 New Living Translation (NLT)
32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him.
33 When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
The Tomb – I remember so clearly the first time I buried someone I loved. It was my grandpa, Howard Crank. I loved him so much. I remember riding on a golf cart with him, collecting aluminum pop cans to take to the recycling plant. He was always sharpening a knife, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. Years began to pass and his health began to fail. We could no longer do many things together. He was placed on oxygen and losing energy. He passed away at our home one evening and I found out the following morning by Brother Lowell Spencer (What a great man of God). The funeral came and went. I remember feeling so sad that the door to my relationship with my grandpa had closed.
Reality sets in with the door to the tomb being closed on Jesus. He is gone. All is lost. It is over. The dream of Him reigning on the throne in Jerusalem was lost. The door of the tomb was closed with Jesus on the inside. He is lying in the tomb, wrapped in linen, covered in oil and spices holding all their hopes, dreams and excitement with Him. I am so glad the story doesn’t end here. Tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday!
The Burial of Jesus
Matthew 27:57-61 New International Version (NIV)
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.