“The act of providing vague advance indications …”*
You’ve experienced this if you’ve followed a story, whether cinematic or literary.
In Back to the Future, a woman hands Marty McFly a “Save the Clock Tower” flyer. That exchange foreshadows things to come. If you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t, well, you’re on your own, Bubba.
These thoughts about foreshadowing bounce around in my head because of two specific reasons.
1) The time. This week has been filled with the activities of Holy Week—Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and, still to come at this writing, Resurrection Day (which sounds tons better than Easter—you of course may disagree).
2) My reading. For a week now, my early morning readings have included the Psalms. When I read Psalm 22, I marveled at the foreshadowing of the cross over a thousand years before the event. King David, ruling from 1010 to 970 B.C.E., wrote, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1 NIV).
Does the line sound familiar?
Matthew records, “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” (Matthew 27:46 NIV).
Later in the Psalm, David writes, “… they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment” (Psalm 22:16b-18 NIV).
Matthew writes, “When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots” (Matthew 27:35 NIV).
So, in this Holy Week, I’m very aware of Scripture, God’s foreshadowing of past events, and what the two mean for us today. For me, certain truths emerge.
1) God spoke/speaks through people. God foreshadowed future events, the crucifixion for one, through a shepherd king and others like David long before any of the events took place. Matthew notes ancient prophetic utterances throughout his Gospel as indicators of the nature and work of Jesus Christ.
One of the themes of Scripture, and one that emerges in my novel Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes, is how God speaks through ordinary people under ordinary circumstances. What was true in David’s time is also true in ours. God speaks through people.
2) Events did not/do not surprise God. Whether for good or ill, events often shape us. At times, we crumble during a crisis. But, the crucifixion, the horrific slaughter of an innocent Man, neither caught God by surprise nor caused Him to collapse under its crushing weight.
What was true in Matthew’s time is also true in ours. Events in our lives do not surprise God.
These thoughts, simple as they are, foreshadow something I’m still processing. I hope to write more on this my next post.
I’m curious. Where has God captured your attention during this past Holy week?
*Definition provided by WordWeb
3-1/2 minutes well spent: “On My Father’s Side”
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