"Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment." -Luke 23:50-56
I can imagine the despair. The questioning. The doubt. Was He not the Messiah after all? All of their hopes and dreams were now laying dead in a tomb.
On this side of the story, we know the end. We know that Jesus rises again and we even know, that in the very end, the end of it all, He wins. But they didn't know that. I can't help but think of those poor women who anointed his bloody, dead, unrecognizable body with spices. What pain they must have felt.
I think we've all been there in one way or another. Watched a dream die. I know I have. As a senior in high school, with stars in my eyes, I moved to Bend, OR expecting to be God's gift to worship in Central Oregon. With barely 18 years under my belt, some experience, if-y character, and questionable motivations (I realize, I'm making myself out to be some law breaking drug dealer - I can assure you, I was not.) I quickly realized I did not have what it would take - yet. Because it did not look how I thought it would, when I thought it would, I questioned my calling, I questioned my decision to move to Bend, and worst of all, I questioned Jesus. I watched my dream die.Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. - John 12:24
It didn't happen easily. And if we're all being honest, it didn't happen voluntarily. It was not this noble, selfless decision to nail my lifelong dream to the cross. I didn't have a choice in the matter, but neither did the disciples. If they'd had it their way, Jesus would have overthrown the government, set up His kingdom right here on earth, and made all of them His right hand men. If I'd had it my way, I would've been the next Christian Britney Spears (can we all just take a moment to thank the Lord that did not happen?!). God sees things we don't. There is pain in the dying, yes, but there's absolutely nothing that compares to the joy of the resurrection.11 years after the death of my dream, I'm now living my resurrected dream. Letting it die, allowed the Lord to shape it, and me, and now I believe with my whole heart, that it will bear much fruit. I still have a lot to learn, and I know that there will be other things in my life that I will have to bury, but from this side of the story, I can tell you that the tomb isn't the end, it’s just the beginning.
Lindsay Parnell is the Westside Youth Worship Pastor at Westside Church in Bend, OR, and is the owner of Dollface Lashes. She and her husband Eric have been married for 7 years and love serving at Westside and hanging out with their awesome dog, Bruno.