In Exodus 19:10-11 we read: “the Lord said to Moses: ’Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down (…)’ ”.
Today and tomorrow Jesus does not wash clothes but he heals and exorcises. And on the third day he ‘is perfected’, he is ‘completed’.
Our thoughts wander to John 19:30 where Jesus says on the cross: “It is finished”. If Jesus and Luke did have Exodus 19 in mind it seems as if they reinterpret Jesus’ death as ‘the Lord coming down’. It seems to me that this passage in Luke defies ‘logical’ reading. It is almost like a cryptic puzzle that is best enjoyed by letting the associations run free.
It seems to me that the ‘performing cures’ and the ‘casting out demons’ and even being ‘on the way’ to Jerusalem are all examples of ‘the hen gathering her brood under her wings’. In an unexpected twist the perfection or fulfilment happens in the rejection. Even as the little ones (the brood) scuttle away at their own peril, still the Lord comes into the dispersion, into death. Blessed is the third day; blessed is the resurrection; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
21 February 2016
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.