by: Iantha Brown
Scripture: Matthew 27: 50-54
During this time of pandemic and this season of isolation and limited human contact, we have been introduced to words and phrases that were not routinely heard or used in everyday language. For instance, “COVID- 19” or “coronavirus”- a potentially fatal virus we had no prior knowledge of before late 2019, “social distancing” which we now understand as being at least 6 feet away from another person, “pandemic”- a disease prevalent throughout an entire country, or in our current situation, the whole world.
Another word that has crept into our vocabulary is “unprecedented”. The things we have seen and heard over the past year or so has been often and best described as “unprecedented”, meaning without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled. Our recent history has shown us some things that many have categorized as unprecedented.
When something is unprecedented it stirs our human curiosity and we begin to look at “it” on a spectrum which flows from with utterly unimaginable to altogether amazing. This pandemic has been something that many have not been fond of since it produced unparalleled job loss, life loss, and an economic crisis worldwide. The response to social isolation and separation has caused record-setting numbers of depression, death by suicide and domestic violence between intimate partners. This is the dark side of what can take place when the depravity of man shows instead of the good that was placed in us before the fall.
But we must not lose focus that just as “unprecedented” has shown up in the 21st century most commonly associated with this ongoing pandemic, that it has shown up well before our time.
You might recall:
The story of Noah and the flood, unprecedented;
The conversation of Moses and God through a burning bush, unprecedented;
The parting of the Red Sea with the lifting of Moses’ staff and the power of Almighty God, unprecedented;
Abraham and Sarah procreating to bring forth Isaac in their old age, unprecedented;
Esther an undercover Jewish woman saving her people from annihilation and genocide, through fasting and praying unprecedented;
My list could go on but I think you get the picture. Although our minds may think that when things are unprecedented that they are strange or maybe even weird because they are not everyday occurrences. But we should never think they are done outside of what God has either caused or allowed. We should be assured that all of these events get our attention and make lasting impressions on our minds. The stuff we talk about and celebrate for years to come!
As we rejoice in this Easter season we hope you have taken time to pause and reflect on one event that every Christian should hail as unprecedented. It is that event that occurred that has left a lasting impact on past, present and future generations. You probably have guessed that we are speaking of the death of Jesus- by crucifixion on a Good Friday, His burial- in a borrowed tomb of a man named Joseph, His resurrection- 3 days later when His body was discovered as missing by some women who were coming with spices they had prepared for Him early Sunday morning and His ascension- to be seated at the right hand of God, the Father some 50 days later.
This sequence of events is one for the records- and it was an unprecedented set up by our Heavenly Father to make sure we knew how much we are loved and so we could live to live again. That is Good News!
As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic now with the invention of multiple vaccines that are available to us, let us never forget that because of Christ’s unprecedented actions that we have been blessed beyond measure. There is no other religious deity that has done or accomplished what Jesus has. Let us shout this morning as the Roman soldier did as he watched the earth respond to what had just taken place on that Good Friday. But let us say it in the present tense “surely this man IS the Son of God.”
So as we get ready to go to the Son of God in prayer...let us seek Him for unprecedented grace, mercy, favor and hope!! Amen!!