what had to be done.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
What a weird thing to say. John, in writing this gospel, is recalling that moment at the tomb. As he is recalling, he interprets the scriptures to say that Jesus had to rise from the dead. A weird thing to say because this writing and interpretation of scripture is directive to God. It is telling God what He must do.
Would we ever presume to tell God what He must do? Oh, by the way God, You have to do this. Yet this is what we read about Jesus today. Jesus had to rise from the dead.
On the morning of the resurrection John, and Peter by inference, did not yet understand. Later they would all realize that Jesus had to do this. Jesus had to get done what He had to get done.
Jesus mission to us is an eternal arc. This narrative, this historical account, begins from eternity and goes to eternity. His work is completely directed to and for us.
Easter, the Solemnity of the Resurrection, all the joy and celebration we feel today, is about this. It is about celebrating what God wiled Himself, required Himself, to do for us.
God’s work is never incomplete, it is never pointless. Each aspect of His work has purpose and effect. Every moment of Jesus life was about and for you and me, each of us, no one excluded.
Is there any point where Jesus’ arc was just good enough? Should He have just sent word through the prophets and left good enough alone? Should He have stopped at the stable in Bethlehem, giving us only a glimpse of what might be possible? Perhaps after His preaching and miracles? After all, we would have had wise words to live by, a nice example to follow. Should He have stopped at the cross, gotten down to show His power? Could we say enough, all right, at His death and burial. Should that have been it? No! We, by Jesus’ eternal arc, have the fulness of God’s life in us. We have the examples of the prophets. We have Jesus’ incarnation and coming for us. We have His life – God among us showing us how to live God’s life. We have freedom from all sin and freedom from eternal death by the cross. Life forever in the resurrection because Jesus did what He hadto do.