So many times we see expectations in a negative light. There are excessive expectations we put on ourselves at times that we could never meet. There are also unreasonable expectations we place on others based on our perceptions of what they are capable of or would be most helpful to ourselves. But sometimes these expectations enable us to rise to an occasion which seems almost beyond our strength.
But sometimes these expectations enable us to rise to an occasion which seems almost beyond our strength.
I think of the three falls of Jesus. He is exhausted, battered and bruised, surely dehydrated and most assuredly weak to the point of death. It is more than understandable that he would fall under the weight of the cross. What is unreasonable is that the soldiers would expect him to get up and carry on. They had a job to perform and Jesus wasn’t going to mess it up. Jesus met their expectations, the expectations of the crowd, and most clearly his own expectations of himself.
When my dad was on his deathbed, he was so weak he could hardly talk to us. We understood this and remained with him with no expectations. Then an old friend of his arrived in his room. He hadn’t seen this man for quite a while. Suddenly, my dad was able to rise up in bed and chat with him. He knew his friend would expect to see his former self and to the best of his ability he rose to the occasion. My family was amazed and delighted to see this spark of life in him and we reveled in it. But as his friend left his room, Dad slipped down in his bed and slept for the next several hours. He had indeed met the expectations of his friend and we were the better for it….but it was at such a cost.
So it was with Jesus.