Thursday, August 26, 2010

Laid Bare

The human heart was never laid so bare as it was at the foot of the cross.  The multitude of faces that gathered around the events of Golgotha betrayed our lack of interest in the preservation of God’s image.  They were the faces of those who had in some measure enjoyed Christ’s company in their hometowns.   He had walked with them and talked with them and cared for them inasmuch as they would allow Him to.  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!  How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” Matthew 23:37.  Although the cross was the greatest act of selflessness on the part of Divinity, it was the greatest act of selfishness on the part of humanity.
The crucifix story itself would retain only divine, miraculous, transcendent, luminescent, fragrant and spiritual qualities… .if it were not for the addition of the human heart.  Our desires to kill Christ… .yes, current desires… .are a direct result of our victimization.  In this fallen world among subjective choices we have all, at some time in our history, experienced injustice and lost rights.  We cry our for justice and seek ways to secure it… .for self.  Someone must return the stolen goods.  Someone must pay for our losses!
The Christ peers across the terrain that is ravaged and discarded.  He observes the boundary crossers.  They are all boundary crossers!  They have all stolen and they have all been stolen from.  Each one is starring angrily at the others… .expecting retribution… .not noticing their own guilt.  To blame one is to blame them all!  But no one will lay a weapon down.  “I will,” says the Christ.  And He lays His weapon down.  He will not take from those who took from Him.  And He will not take from those who took from us.  He will give His own life as a ransom for many.  He will be the accused boundary crosser.
But that’s not necessarily what we want…. We want Christ to fight against the Romans, to take back what has been taken from us.  We want Him to join our causes of injustice.  We want Him to invest in our personal agendas.  But He says, “My kingdom is not of this world,” John 18:36.  He didn’t come to fight with us.
We wanted His kingdom to be of this world.  We wanted a Savior who would point fingers with us.  A Savior who would give condemnation where we felt condemnation was due.  We wanted a Savior who would satisfy our personal agendas for justice.   And when He wouldn’t, He became our enemy.

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