I was writing in my journal this morning, and contemplating the death and resurrection of Jesus, when I found myself writing a “different” death and resurrection story. The death and resurrection of the soul of Saul.
I was reminded of the story of the Apostle Paul’s trip on the road to Damascus. Only when he started the trip he was Saul, persecutor and slayer of Christians. Scenario: He is walking along this dusty road to Damascus, hoping to encounter Christians so that he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. All of a sudden he falls in the dirt and hears a voice asking him “Why do you persecute me?” And Saul asks him who he is and the voice replies “I am Jesus the one you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what to do.” Now, none of the people Saul was traveling with saw or heard the voice. All they knew is that Saul had fallen. They helped him up, but Saul was could not see. For three days he was like this. During that time he did not eat or drink.
When Saul gets to Damascus, Saul is praying and God sends him a vision of a man named Ananias who will heal his sight. God commands Ananias to go to Saul, but Ananias knows who Saul is and is afraid and doesn’t want to go and he protests. But he goes, anyway. He finds Saul exactly where God said he would find him. He lays his hands on Saul and says:”Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” The scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. The story also says that Paul was baptized and became a follower of Jesus.
So that’s the story. The parallel between the three days Saul spends sightless, in his own personal Hell, and the three days of Jesus’ death, descending into Hell and then His resurrection reinforces to me that we all spend our time “blinded” and in hell. Even Christians. Maybe Christians most of all!
How often do we wear our robes of righteousness and condemn our brothers and sisters even though we are taught that God loves us ALL. Who does that leave out? We hate people because of their lifestyles. We hate people because of their politics. We hate people because (God forbid) their religious dogma might be a little different than our own. And yet we wonder why “bad” things happen to US?
When will the scales fall from our own eyes so that we might see the TRUTH????