On the night of His betrayal—just hours before He would be crucified—Jesus endeavored to prepare His disciples for His excruciating death. He knew what was coming but they didn’t. To help them process what they were about to witness, Jesus used a metaphor.
“A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world” (John 16:21).
The disciples didn’t fully understand in that moment, but He was saying to them, “I’m pregnant.”
He was pregnant with Prophecy; He was pregnant with Purpose; He was pregnant with Possibility.
Things were about to get messy.
In essence, Jesus was alerting them, “I’m about to go into labor—into hard labor. You’re going to be distracted with the anguish, the sorrow, the travail, the birth pangs, the contractions, the pushing.”
At the cross, we’re looking at God in labor; at the resurrection, we see the baby being born. The resurrection was the birthing of our salvation.
Why was the labor so intense? Because it was a real big baby!
When the disciples looked at the cross, they saw everything shutting down; but when God looked at the cross, He saw everything opening up.
When the disciples looked at the cross, they saw the end of everything; when God looked at the cross, He saw a new beginning to everything.
When the disciples looked at the cross, all they could see was a massive setback; when God looked at the cross, He saw a massive setup.
When the disciples looked at the cross, they saw Jesus getting crushed in the heel; when God looked at the cross, He saw Satan getting crushed in the head (Gen 3:15).
When the disciples looked at the cross, all they could see was a tomb; when God looked at the cross, He saw a womb (John 16:21).
When we look at our fiery trials, sometimes all we can see is a tomb. “This thing is killing me!” But through the example of the cross we can see how God takes the very thing we thought was our end, and He makes it, by His redemptive grace, a portal to birth new possibilities in the kingdom of God for us, our family, and our generation.
This post is an excerpt from Chapter One in Bob’s new book, It’s Not a Tomb It’s a Womb. For book information click here.