Why two weeks since the last blog? The political riptides after getting fired from my job got much worse. In order to get paid for work I had already committed to do, the company was forced by my very loyal client to rehire me for one week. The process they chose was one of invasive humiliation. Over the past two weeks, I have endured long new employee job applications, credit checks, I-9 immigration work authorization checks, criminal background checks, and yes, even a drug screening test. I was treated like a recently-paroled criminal, not the guy they had known for 37 years, and my self-worth bled to an all-time low.
Simultaneously, I was researching the first six chapters of Numbers and found myself in a maze of commands, laws and regulations – two deserts, both adding to a depressing, unquenchable thirst.
But in Numbers 5, there appeared one nearly hidden example of God’s restoration as a direct result of our repentance, and here in the middle of Holy Week I saw a dramatic parallel among the testing of a woman by jealous husband, the prayer I had prayed for my own forgiveness after getting fired, and the testing of Jesus on the cross which we focus upon this week.
The accused woman, whether or not she was guilty of defiling herself, had to endure a horrible test by the priest that is hard to comprehend today. But if she did nothing wrong, according to Numbers 5:28, she was free and able to bear children. Jesus had to endure an even more horrible test, though he had done nothing wrong, and he endured it so that even if that woman had done something wrong, she could repent and be redeemed and restored by the sacrifice of Jesus.
I am far more like a disobedient sinner than like Jesus. But because the travesty of Jesus on the cross was accepted by Jesus out of his never-ending love for us, I was forgiven whatever things I had done wrong at work the instant I asked, and the animal desire for revenge evaporated.
My prayer for you this Easter is Numbers 6:24-26, the blessing of Aaron:
“The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” (NASB)
This is our unity with God, the Father who blesses, the Son who shines and is gracious; and the Spirit who gives peace.
Life is full of tests like Good Friday. But as my wonderful wife Sue says many times, “It may be Friday, but Sunday’s a’comin’!”
Yesterday, on Good Friday, my client fired the company that fired me and retained me to continue working for them.
There is only one Easter, one risen Christ. He is alive, indeed!