Wednesday, March 11, 2015
the embarrassing bits
if you were going to make up a religion, it certainly wouldn't be Christianity. there are all sorts of stories, both in the Bible and throughout history, that make it clear that we didn't invent this.
just the idea of Jesus on the cross is such a huge contradiction, such an enormous scandal, that it boggles the mind. we've grown accustomed to the image, unfortunately. it's become the symbol of our faith, which is both good and bad. bad, because we are so used to seeing it as a holy thing, a transformational thing that brings us eternal life, that we forget to see it as the evil dark moment in our world's history that it is. God became a human being and walked among us. we nailed Him to a cross and killed Him like a common criminal, so much so that there actually were two common criminals hanging on either side of Him as He died.
two phrases stuck out to me today. one was when Pilate asks Him "are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus says "You have said it." this doesn't make alot of sense in English. i suspect that in the original language they were speaking, it has more power. i think it sounded more like "You are the King of the Jews. Is that right?" so when Jesus says "You said it," it means that Pilate just said He was. that Jesus was not making the claim Himself.
but the other phrase that leaps off the page is "My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?"
if you were making up a religion, would you have the hero, the God-man, ask God in heaven why He was abandoning Him in His greatest moment of need for everyone to hear and read for all eternity? i sure wouldn't. holy cow. what a scandal!
but again, there is depth here we don't see. Jesus taking on sin, our sin, and our death, and suffering hell and separation from God for us... and then defeating all of those things and reuniting us with Him once again. amazing.
God, help me to be continually amazed by what You did for me.