Friday, April 06, 2007

What do you see?

Good Friday

Behold the Lamb of God...

What were they thinking, these who gathered around the cross. Soldiers, penitents, mothers of Israel, young zealots, disciples and friends all gathered at the foot of the cross. Some turned away from Jesus thinking that his life was cut short in shame."What a waste this young life spent in vain,... would that he would have followed his fathers way and been a carpenter, a good citizen, a husband and a father to children..." But in fact he did follow his Father's way- the way of sacrificial love- they just couldn't see what was in front of them.

Some wept great tears in sympathy for Mary's loss. To lose a son is one thing, to see him crucified and suffocating under his own weight on a rough hewn cross by gentile armies is another. "What needless violence done to this one," they thought. "And all in the name of religion...why does he have to take his faith so seriously..." But, in fact, he was taking their loss seriously- their loss of relationship with his Father, their estrangement from real love, their alienation from divine intimacy- They just couldn't see what was in front of them.

Some vowed vengence for this mistreatment of an innocent. They looked at Jesus and saw a symbol for their cause. Some felt abandoned and doubted the teaching of this one they had followed for so long. Some, in a whirlwind of confusion, couldn't understand how all this was supposed to work out for their good. Some grieved the loss of a friend who helped, healed, and encouraged them to believe in a God they could not see- where was his God now? They just couldn't see what was in front of them.

As I look at the cross, with a naked Savior hanging crucified, shamed, humiliated, and misunderstood. What fills my heart is not simply a sense of loss, nor a grief for my sin, nor even an appreciation for his sacrifice. As I look at the cross I am filled with fear... fear that I can be this close and miss what he is doing, what he is saying, his love and what he is ...

Oh, Jesus precious King of my heart
Let me never miss the beating of yours
May my life be purified, my vision cleansed
To see in you all that you are.
Forgive my blindspots, my agendas, my earthly
thinking, my limits
Make me to see what this sacrifice means
For me
For the watching world

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