Apr10WedApril 10, 2019
One of the joys and challenges of parenting these days is helping our children comprehend the passage of time. Our four year-olds are beginning to grasp the fact that a week has seven days, that the garbage truck comes on Tuesdays, and Sunday is ‘church day’. Yet, if an exciting day is coming, they struggle that it’s not here yet. Sometimes a day can feel like eternity to a toddler! Our older two children grasp the passage of time quite well. However, they still easily lose track of time when my wife or I say something like, “Please be ready in twenty minutes.” Sometimes, they try, even unintentionally, to stretch a minute into an eternal moment.
Our Daily Scripture Reading has been taking us through the book Second Peter. The third and final chapter of Second Peter includes some fairly memorable passages about time. For example, “one day with the Lord is as thousand years and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8b). Then, “The Lord is not slow in fulfilling his promise [to return] as some count slowness, but he is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (3:9). And finally, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (3:10).
These three verses depict three various statements about time. The first statement reminds us that God created time. He oversees it but is not constrained by time in the least. God is above time. When we are with Him at last, time ceases to be…at least as we have known it to be.
The second statement reminds us of the ‘delay’ between His resurrection and second coming. For example, this Easter marks the 1989th celebration of Jesus’ victory over death. Some would say that is a long time! Many are eager for Jesus to return immediately, much like a child wants their special occasion to happen “now!” Others scoff and say, “Perhaps, He is not coming back at all!” But Jesus’ final return is ‘delayed’ for a purpose. As another Holy Week comes and goes, the Lord is exercising His divine patience with humanity and keeping the door to His Kingdom open a little longer. That’s great news for those who had not yet heard! We have another Easter Sunday to invite our unsaved friends to!
The final statement (2 Peter 3:10) depicts the moment when time, as we know it, will cease. When the Lord returns, our measurements for time (the rotation of the earth and our orbit around the sun) will come to a triumphant conclusion. Eternity will be our only standard of time and “night will be no more” (Revelation 22:5a).
Our journey into Holy Week marks the celebration of a specific portion of time, the moments prior to Jesus’ arrest, trial, death and resurrection. But in a larger sense, it also reminds us of the eternal truths presented in Second Peter. Time will eventually be swallowed up, along with death. Life within a resurrected world will begin. However, we must wait for this coming day.
As this precious Holy Week comes, I encourage you to pause. Don’t miss the opportunities for reflection that Holy Week offers. Let time slow down for a moment and reflect upon our temporal state and the eternity that is coming. Let this week remind of you of the past, present, and future promises of the Living God – the one who holds time in His hand and offers us eternity!