Do You Hear the Rumble?

by DanWolgemuth on October 3, 2008

Thunder, in the distance. The rumble ushers in the anticipation. It warns us, in advance, of what’s coming. Soon there will be the smell of rain, the flashes of lightening, the increased wind velocity. A storm is coming, and the warning invites preparation. Windows closed. Jacket in hand. Umbrella in briefcase. We’re ready.

Jesus knew. His death; His gruesome, painful, bloody death was known and anticipated. Although it looked like the act of an out of control vigilante uprising, it was the plan, the strategy, the mission. In Matthew 16 Jesus increases the volume of the thunder so that the disciples could hear. But it was more than they could comprehend. It was misguided worry. It was an overreaction to the political climate. It was an under appreciation of their ability to guard and protect.

Yes, Jesus knew. He knew all along. The price for Him to absorb our penalty was substantial. When He left His Father’s side to “make Himself nothing” (Philippians 2:7), He knew the cost.

The rumble, now closer, caused no panic, no “two minute offense,” no marketing blitz, no self-pity. Humility, sacrifice, substitution, and rejection were the design. They had to be. For the sake of justice, for the purity of the Father, for the ransom that was due.

And as He moved toward the cross, Jesus not only modeled sacrifice, but He taught us to incline our ears as well, to listen for the thunder. To hear what others do not. To respond with resolve, with sacrifice, with mercy, with love.

Everywhere. In every neighborhood. In the slums in an urban ghetto, and in the shell-shocked board rooms across this country, fear has replaced self-reliance. Thunder.

The time is now, “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8

The cross shows us the way. It was the strategy. The victory was costly, but calculated. Jesus knew. He heard the thunder, He smelled the rain. And as He did, He taught us to listen. To anticipate. To serve. To sacrifice. To comfort and to confront, without panic. To grasp with confidence the sovereign hand of God.

Thunder. It is the sound of sacrifice. The invitation to intercede.

It is time for the followers of Jesus to show the way, to be the Church, to fulfill our call.

Listen, do you hear the thunder?

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