And where is His heart more clearly seen than at the cross? I'm lifting my eyes to it now, on the day of Tenebrae, the day of darkness. I am looking up at my suffering Savior, refusing to gloss over the brutal, bloody reality of it, refusing to fast forward to the good part. Because life is broken and dark, and we all hurt and feel hurt, and I'm not sure which is worse. I'm not looking away. I'm not averting my eyes from the broken body, from the flow of blood. And the Cross, it's more than the cleansing of sins and the purchase of righteousness, though it is that. It is Jesus taking on all the grief and pain and suffering of all the world.
It is the Father grieving the loss of His Only Begotten, and every loved one any one of us will ever lose.
It is the Son feeling the sharp pain of abandonment as the Father turns His back, feeling so alone for every time any of us will ever feel alone.
Jesus takes more than nails for our sins - He takes every broken shard of every broken mess that pierces every one of our broken hearts.
He takes on every grievance done against us and all we've done against ourselves and others.
Every moment we think might kill us - It killed Him. He bled out.
When Jesus took on flesh, it was to do more than understand our pain. It was to take on our pain. It is the flesh that feels pain, holds me back and weighs me down, and it is the flesh that Jesus put on Himself. And even in the resurrection, He kept the scars. He never let go of the pain. He gained our victory. He declared it finished. And still He never let go of the pain.
He never let go of the pain so I can finally let go of mine.
He kept the reminder of His suffering so I can remember where to put mine - right there in His nail-pierced hands.
Love bled. Love was broken. Love took the pain. And He keeps taking it over and over and over. You never need to hold the weight again - not the weight of your sin or the weight of your pain or the weight of your suffering or the weight of the brokenness. He took it. He takes it. All the way to the grave.