The General Election result reminds us that appearances can be misleading. In the run up to the election political pundits obsessed over what deals the Labour or Conservative parties would have to make with whatever combination of smaller parties in the event of a hung parliament. It was an acronym lover’s dream. Would we be governed by Con-Dem-Ukip-DUP, or Lab-Dem-SNP-PC-Grn, or what?
As we know, it was none of the above. The exit poll on election night and the subsequent result showed that almost all of the opinion polls were wrong and David Cameron is now back in Downing Street at the head of a Conservative majority government. Whether that's for good or ill I’ll leave you to judge, but it only goes to show that things don’t always turn out as expected.
When Jesus exercised his ministry on earth many Jewish people were looking forward to the coming Messiah. They hoped that he would smash the enemies of God’s people, overthrow Roman rule over the land of Israel, and put the world to rights. Jesus didn’t quite fit the bill. He had power alright; the power to heal and forgive. But he didn’t do a lot of enemy bashing. In fact, he taught his followers to love their enemies. When his opponents had him crucified he prayed, “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.”
Couldn’t have been the Messiah, then. But it was through his death on the cross that Jesus accomplished the salvation of the world. He died in weakness for our sins so that through faith in him we might be put right with God. Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God and appointed the world’s true Lord and King. False expectations can skew our understanding of reality. Things aren’t always what they seem. The once-crucified Jesus is Lord.
* For June's News & Views and Holy Trinity parish magazine.