Friday, March 29, 2013

Final Week of Jesus - The Day That Changed Everything

Who would have thought that God’s saving power would look like this? Isaiah 53

The miscarriage of justice so that infinitely greater justice could be served?

Abandonment of the Righteous One so the unrighteous ones can be embraced?

The innocent punished so that the guilty could go free…?

Betrayed by a kiss.

Deserted by His friends.

The travesty of the ‘court proceedings’.

The scourging, the spitting, the beating. The thorns, the nails, the thirst.

And then, during the long hours on the cross, the mocking and jeering. This really gets to me.

People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament:

You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!

The high priests, along with the religion scholars and leaders, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him:

He saved others—he can’t save himself! King of Israel, is he? Then let him get down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then! He was so sure of God—well, let him rescue his ‘Son’ now—if he wants him! He did claim to be God’s Son, didn’t he?

Even the two criminals crucified next to him joined in the mockery.  (Matthew 27:39-44)

Save Yourself! And, while you are at it, save us! Save us  from this pain and shame and suffering.

Save Yourself! Right NOW! 

Avoid the cross.  Avoid the shame.  Anesthesize the pain.

Take a shortcut!

And to think of the love of God the Father that watched all this. And that kept Him from ripping the heavens open and roaring at the mockers, roaring at the murderers, and delivering His One and Only Son…

But, He unleashed the fury we deserved, we earned on Him. Made Him sin,  so that the mockers and the murderers, thieves and liars, gays and straights, Muslims and Christians, Jews and Atheists, pastors and predators, missionaries and perpetrators – all of us alike - can be forgiven.

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Luke 23:34

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