Thursday, April 20, 2006
Easter bunnies and Bloody nails
I was struck this Easter by the sufferings of Christ. We watched the Passion of Christ on Good Friday and for the first time I realized that a huge part of Christ's sufferings was the lonliness and despair he must have felt. He was sold to his enemies by a friend. While He was aching with the weight of the knowledge of what was to happen his friends slept. One friend denied Him. I think I have become so immune to the story that I fail to see how painful this would have been. His own people rejected Him, and cried out for his death. This man had loved and longed for them. He was made fun of as He was beaten, insult heaped upon powerlessness. In any other person our hearts would bleed to hear such a story, but this man, well, it's just Jesus. In Sunday school we learn to say "He died for us" without any concept of what He went through. We're almost bored by the idea.
He suffered lonliness in a way that no person will ever experience it. God turned His back on Jesus too. God turned His back on Him at Jesus' utmost need for a friend. Jesus took on the weight of the world, all the hate and anger and abuse. He became the most disgusting vile criminal on that cross, and He was rejected by God, so that the most disgusting vile criminal can have a chance to truly live. No one else on earth is ever truly alone. God sees all of us and aches with us in our pain. He was truly alone to be with us in our lonliness. He experienced true pain to be with us in our pain.
Sometimes we wonder at God loving us. Either we complain that He doesn't love us enough or that He couldn't possibly love us in all we've done. I know realize that we join in the ranks of abusers when we question such love. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. There was no greater show of love for us than what happened Good Friday, and no greater show of completion than what happened the following Sunday morning.