Across the Great Divide

by DanWolgemuth on April 23, 2021

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ (Matthew 26:30–31, ESV)


While the disciples postured and predicted… Jesus knew. They would scatter. Not because He was unreliable, but because they were. As human beings, we all do what we can to become self-reliant. Autonomously resilient. Independently brave.

We anchor our confidence in the sword we carry (like Peter), the politics we vote, the platform we stand on, the balance sheet we acquire, the neighborhood we live in… or don’t live in, the control we naïvely believe will protect us, the precautions we’ve taken, the diet we’ve embraced, the body we’ve toned and tanned, the degrees that hang on our wall, the crowd that we run with… or don’t run with, the authority we’ve been given, and the position we’ve obtained. And collectively. Universally. Unavoidably. All of this leads to “scattered”.

We see it. Every day. In thousands of ways. We are fractured. Divided. Broken. Separated. Angry. And more sure than ever of what we can’t be absolutely sure of.

Scattered. Us. Not just our country and the world, but the church. Not The Church… but the church.

And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (Acts 1:13–14)

“With one accord…”. The same people. The same group. Those who denied, abandoned, fled, hid, and quaked.

Roughly 40 days after “scattered”… “one accord”. Roughly 40 days after divided… united. Roughly 40 days after overconfidence… cosmic dependence.

What happened? What changed?

Had Rome been overthrown? Had the Pharisees gone on vacation? Had the mob disbursed?

No… all of that was still true.

What happened was the cross. What changed was their story, their destiny, their purpose, their fear of death and destruction.

Sins atoned for. Death defeated. Marching orders to come from the Holy Spirit.

Once disciples. Now witnesses (Acts 1:8). In a growing throng of men and women. Of Jews and Gentiles. Once following in the footsteps of Jesus, soon to be empowered with the Spirit of God.

The Apostle Paul put it this way…

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)

Knowing nothing but Christ crucified.

Not FOX or CNN. Not my favorite blogger or a key influencer on Instagram. Not the most powerful or popular. Not my tribe or my people, but…

Christ, and Christ alone. The cross, and the cross alone.

This, and only this, can bring us together. Everything else will make us scatter. Everything else will drive us apart.

Only Jesus. Always Jesus… in one accord.

Now. Please. Now.

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