April 18, 2011

So, yesterday was Palm Sunday. And now we are in the week leading up to the day that my God, 2000-something years ago, underwent a punishment that he did not deserve. Naturally this week always brings me to reflection. Reflection of what that time was like, what thoughts went Christ’s head, what thoughts went through the minds of the people yelling “Crucify Him!”

Tonight, my small group girls and I went through that last week together. We read some verses out of Luke and a few from John and after we read each one, we had the same reaction: we were speechless. We were completely overwhelmed all over again by a love that we can’t understand.

One of the things that we kept coming back to is the amount of times that Jesus could have called the whole thing off.

In Luke 19, we see Christ approaching Jerusalem, the city that he loved. The city that he knew would betray in a week’s time. He looks over this city and weeps for it, yearning for them to know what would bring them peace. Wishing so much that they understood who he really was. At this moment, Jesus has the opportunity to retreat. He has the ability to avoid the next week of his life and what comes at the end of it. All he had to do was turn the colt around. Or even just stand still. And yet, he rides in.

Luke 22:42. Christ is hours away from his arrest and goes to pray. He says the words, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Now, this is how it is written but something tells me that there was some more struggling than this. Something tell me that Christ begged and wept and truly desired to call it quits. And then, after all of that, said, “No, no. Your will be done.” Yet again, Christ has the opportunity to run. He even verbalizes that desire. And yet, he continues on.

A short while later, Christ is approached by soldiers, some chief priests and the Pharisees. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said.  When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Yet again, Christ is in control. At the name of God, I Am, these men fell to the ground. Jesus has his out right there. He has these guys on the floor. He is free to walk. And he doesn’t. Instead he asks them again, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he.”

He was always in control. Even when his friend, Peter, drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear, he reprimanded him. He had the opportunity to shut the whole operation down at any time. And he didn’t.

That’s why my girls and I were speechless tonight at small group. We couldn’t fathom that. And never will be able to. That cross was made for us. And someone loved me enough to trade places with me. Someone cared about me enough to be the one that was mocked and spat on for my sake.

I pray that that sacrifice never grows stale. I pray that I am always overwhelmed by a love that I can’t comprehend.


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