Day 100 –
Tomorrow is Good Friday! I was thinking about this weekend’s holidays in terms of our quarantine situation. While Jesus was on earth there were crowds around him all the time. People were said to “push through the crowds” to get to Jesus. One person climbed a tree. Another group of guys shimmed their friend down through a roof to get to Jesus. What would I have done to get to Jesus when he was in my town? Would there be crowds even if we all had masks on?
The other day a friend texted me to ask if I was at the grocery store. “No,” I said, “Why?” She said she thought she saw a ponytail that looked like mine. It was a good laugh while thinking about how much our world has changed. So quickly we have gone to looking for ponytails of people we know instead of our faces.
There is a woman in the Bible (Luke 8) who had an issue with bleeding. She had spent 12 years being “unclean”. She not only had to quarantine because she was unclean, per the custom and rules of her day, but also because she could not touch anyone else. If she touched someone, they would also be unclean. The person she touched would have to be ceremoniously cleansed. In other words they would take the appropriate bath. She could bathe, but would remain “unclean” due to her illness.
Social distancing has made me feel a little like this lately. My moments of anxiety over being separated from people has left me broken and tearful. I started videoing a friend today and burst into tears. I have done this stay at home thing as well as worked for a few weeks, not years. It has been challenging. I know I am not “unclean”, but I do feel like I am with this distance restriction between myself and friends.
The woman in our story heard Jesus was coming through her town. She covered herself up and hoped she wouldn’t be recognizable. She made her way through the crowd. No one parted 6 feet for her to pass by. Once she made her way to Jesus, she somehow knelt down and grabbed the tassel of his outer garment. Immediately she knew she was healed.
There is so much symbolism in this story and I encourage you to learn about it. For today, here is the best part. Jesus felt the power go out from him and asked who had touched him. Our woman had began to sneak away. Her shame in being unclean and touching his robe, I would imagine, would be as great being out of her quarantined place. Unable to keep her presence a secret, the woman came forward to confess. Jesus, calling her “Daughter”, told her in front of the crowd that she was healed because of her faith. Jesus took away her shame as well as her illness. Jesus told her to go in peace.
Our perfect Jesus could have let her go unnoticed. The Bible says he came to earth to encounter those who were stuck in their ways of living, in their sin, in their pain, and in their illnesses. Jesus came to call us sons and daughters and to bring us out of our shadows and into His light. He came to give us life and life to the full. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6)
This is my story. I once was lost and in the shadows. I once strove to earn a spot in Jesus’ love. I was broken and in need of healing. He called me “Daughter” and brought me from darkness into His light. He forgave my sins and made me a new creation. He was broken on a cross, dying for me, so I might have life in Him. As much as this “stay at home” has made me feel physically stuck, I am free and alive in Jesus because of his sacrifice for me.
This is why we celebrate Jesus’ death on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Let us celebrate both like never before during this unhurried season. Let us lay our worry, our emotions and our disappointments with our situations at the Lord’s feet. Let’s allow him to call us sons and daughters and worship with glad hearts over his sacrifice. May he encounter us with freedom and joy as we seek him!
Happy Good Friday and Easter!