Thursday, April 17, 2014

More than Sin - A Tenebrae Reflection

It's crazy how in the midst of all this pursuit, all these words and all this life, I can so easily manage to forget what is most important.  And there is something about looking myself straight in the eyes in the morning with a makeup brush in one hand that makes everything come back into focus.  Something in my reflection catches, and I stop.  The moon is still bright in my window.  The stars still shine.  And I can choose today.  Right now.  Before the sun even rises.  I bow my head, and I breathe, and I soak in the grace, and I listen for the whisper.  Beloved First.  I open hands, translate it all into love.  Didn't I do this yesterday?  Didn't we have this same conversation yesterday?  But I must do it again.  This is my manna.  This is my daily bread - soaking in the presence of God, being with God.  It is God Himself that is enough.  Not what God gives.  And if God and His heart are what satisfy my soul - I always have enough.  Where God is, I have all I need.  I don't need another blessing, another evidence of grace.  I need to experience the presence of God.  And God is in all, so all is grace.  I can't TRUST someone whose presence I haven't experienced, whose heart I don't know.

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.

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