Sometimes it’s those brief, short-lived moments, however temporary and fleeting they may be; which leave memorable impressions, lasting a life-time.
Declining all meals and dressed like she was grieving, I decided to spend a little time with her. Sitting side by side; she sighed in a low voice, “It’s a dark day, and every year that passes, the depth of sorrow deepens for me.”
Moving her fingers across the disheveled book; it was as if her entire life, was held right there – right in the middle of those withered pages. Softly explaining her solitude, she pointed to a passage.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [II Cor. 5:21]
My elderly friend wasn’t grieving – she was deeply grateful. Grateful for all this one man endured, personally, for her. And it showed, as His goodness and glory beamed between the lines and wrinkles of her gracefully seasoned face, leading straight to the one story in her heart – the Gospel.
The pews will be flooded Friday eve and Saturday Mass and then again for Sunday service. I wonder about the rushing multitude; who, just as quickly as they come in body; depart in spirit; and how the message never quite makes it to their hearts.
It’s not a matter of fact or fiction. This isn’t about debate. Too many are the accounts of witnesses and even records of the dramatic effects on the skies and earth that day. You can discover more of that here. This is about how the message of the Cross, has power to change lives and shift our perspective of the eternal.
Because there has got to be more, right? More to life than what meets the eye? For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. [II Cor. 4:18]
The gift of Calvary overwhelms me to the core. When I think about those innocent hands; pierced as through they committed a crime, marked as if He were a murderer; my conscious is pricked, because in all reality; the depravity of my sin, was enough for Him to hang.
He took lashes for my lies, was punished for my pride and carried the heavy weight; paying the price of my wayward heart. His Word, which is to be exalted and His Name worshipped; was instead, despised, demeaned and ordered to death – in order that our name can be written down in the Book of Life.
You had to wear a crown of thorns, that we may have the crown of eternal life.
You the Holy One, all Supreme, clothed in Glory, deserving all Honor;
Humbled yourself to the lowest position in order to;
bestow on us a Royal robe of Righteousness.
You took the wounds and stripes to your back, so that we’re made whole and right.
What was brutal and gruesome for Him – has become Glorious and Beautiful to us…
God, yet man; sinless, yet suffered as if you had. You, who told the stars where to shine and planets where to stand; scripted our name in the palms of your hand. Nailed down, suffering as the innocent sacrifice; you signed your signature; bold and red; it is done – it is Finished.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. [Phil. 2:8]
Ridiculed and rejected, far more than our emotions could ever comprehend, yet you offer me (the one whose rejected you), full acceptance and approval, in the Beloved. Even after we’ve declined and dismissed your love; you stand arms wide open, to receive us once again.
Like Peter, I’ve denied you; like your friends, I too, would of fallen asleep in your greatest time of need. Yet there you are, in the garden, sweating drops of blood; willing that none should perish; so you lay down your Will and accept that cup.
It’s not fair – your love is not fair. There’s nothing we can give in return, that is remotely close to all you have given us; all you have done for us. And the amazing thing is you haven’t stopped. You continue blessing, restoring and pouring out favor. If Heaven wasn’t enough, you have given us life abundantly in the here and now.
That empty tomb means we never have to live in an empty pit of despair; believing life ends when mortal bodies expire. Because He’s provided a way – a better way.
“For He is risen, as He said.” [Matthew 28:6]
Resurrected, Risen, He’s right there – just waiting to redeem us from the ruins and wreckage of this world.
But with all the loud voices telling us to be independent and live self-sufficient; it can be hard to see how our souls need redemption; or any sort of rescuing for that matter. Being ‘good’, is simply, not good enough. Because we’ve all fallen short. Even the smallest way in which we’ve missed the mark of perfection, demands the pardon of the Cross.
I’m like Eve in the garden, covering my sin and you know what, self-righteousness and good works are not a good cover. God came to Adam and her, offering the skin of an animal to ‘cover up’, after they realized their sin… And I think about God in all His Glory, who put on skin and flesh, to come offer Himself, as the once for all sacrifice. And now, all our messy shame and muddy sins, are more than covered, more than hidden – they are forever, permanently deleted and wiped away.
I want to embrace the Resurrection Truth.
Because I hear it’s message speaking through the scenery of this beautiful season, where flower buds begin bursting and trees are putting on their garments of green, preparing to bear summer’s fruit. And how even the smallest of seeds, portray His power – His resurrection power.
“He has also set eternity in the human heart.” [Ecclesiastes 3:11]
All around His story is being revealed! Look and see, that which was buried beneath earth, is awaking to the glory of Spring. All that seemed dead is rising to the warmth of the sun.
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” [John 11:25]
After the pain and gory of Friday, comes the beauty and glory of Sunday. After His crucifixion death on Friday, came His Resurrected life on Sunday. The Promised Seed; beaten, buried and broken, rises with Beauty and Triumph; offering to us the gift of Life – the Eternal Kind.
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” [II Cor. 6:2]