There is just nothing like Maundy Thursday service. Our congregation begins with corporate confession and individual absolution, and it is absolutely a gift from God in every way. And, there is nothing like the Chief Service on Good Friday! Nothing at all. <blissful sigh> Today, I’ll share with you another Samson reference, keeping things Christocentric, humbling, and marveling.
Background: I wrestle with several passages about Samson. I am not much of a fan. However, we’ve been going through Judges as part of our Sunday morning Bible study, and I’m starting to see things in a different light.
Things like Jesus as Judge! This is a huge, weighty, immeasurable concept that I haven’t finished trying to understand.
What I offer you today is something far smaller. Only this:
When Samson found the woman he wanted to marry, he sent his father to secure the marriage. The father, of course, hesitated. “Aren’t there nice believers around here, son?” Still, he went. Samson riddled. She betrayed him, and he left. Not forever, but he left. She was handed off to another—likely one of the men who had threatened her and her family.
When God found the Bride of Christ, Jesus came to secure the marriage. There was no hesitation. Admittedly, preparations can seem to take a long time.
Christ spoke in parables and His bride betrayed Him. Left Him in enemy hands, as though weak, a debtor.
But Jesus never left His bride before all was finished. He didn’t go to His enemies’ city to slaughter 30 men. He Himself was slaughtered. So that He would always be with His Bride. So He could present her to His Father “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27).
I don’t mean to paint too close a picture of the church or Christ’s intentions. I don’t mean to stretch any analogies too far, and this parallel certainly only goes a ways.
But Christ is the Man Samson was not. He is the Man we can never be. But He has made Himself to be our Man! Bound to us in flesh and blood, in spirit and truth, in bread and wine, water and word, and every blessing of Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification. Right?
There is so much we cannot comprehend. (Hey, and you guys who come closer to doing so: Thanks! Strive and so serve the Kingdom!)
There is just nothing like the Triduum. Nothing at all.
Thanks be to God!