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Heaven holds its breath

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“Even angels long to look into these things.” (1 Peter 1:12)

We come today to the start of Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter Sunday where we remember once again the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus has ridden triumphantly into Jerusalem to the acclaim of the crowds on Palm Sunday. We have the climatic events of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday still to come.

But for now, everything seems to be quiet. The start of Holy Week is marked with whispering and plotting by the religious leaders behind closed doors. What will happen next is not yet clear. You can imagine the hosts of heaven looking down to see how God’s plan will unfold.

To wait with ‘bated breath’ is perhaps an appropriate phrase for this point in the story. ‘Bated’ isn’t a word we really use anywhere else (and it’s different from ‘baited’ as in putting bait in a trap). It comes from the word ‘abated’ meaning to stop. It’s that sense of anticipation and expectation, so much so that we even forget to breathe. We hold our breath waiting for the dramatic next step. It’s the moment before the starting pistol begins the race, before the skydiver jumps out of the plane, before we pick up the phone to receive important news.

When talking about the salvation that Jesus won, Peter says “even angels long to look into these things.” You could picture the angels in heaven waiting with bated breath to see the purpose of God play out in Easter week. They wait with eager anticipation to witness the rescue plan for humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

I wonder if we have the same level of excitement and anticipation about the events of Easter? Like Christmas, Easter can come with a great deal of familiarity since we do it every year. This year, let’s ask God to fill us with the excitement of the angels to witness his rescue plan unfolding once again.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your plan of salvation. Thank you that Jesus came to die and rise again for me. May your Holy Spirit fill me with excitement and anticipation to remember that rescue once again this year. Amen.

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

Dan Wells, 29/03/2021