Here’s some transparent honesty. (This is something I’m working on being better at)
I grew up in church. I’m fairly certain that I was at church hours after I was born because my parents had an Easter play rehearsal. Needless to say, Ive heard this Easter story more than most people my age. I’ve been around long enough that I can even remember being taught about Jesus dying via felt board. I’ve even taken part in the Palm Sunday experience (i.e. waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna even though I had no idea what it meant).
But I must admit. I the last few minutes of this Easter, I find myself questioning. I find myself in sheer disbelief.
It’s just hard for me to believe that a man named Jesus died for me. It’s a pretty tough sell.
The reality is this. It happened. Jesus did indeed die for me. He endured such awful things for the sins of humanity.
Of course I find myself in disbelief of it! As I am right now, I am incapable of such a selfless loving act! And honestly, I’m not sure that I will ever be to that point.
Don’t get me wrong, I would do anything for my family. I would die for any one of them. But Jesus didn’t just die for his family. He died for mine. And for yours. And for that family that will never ever except him.
If I can’t express such love, how on earth can I accept that someone else expressed such love for me?!
I am unworthy of such a vast and great and selfless love. (Frankly, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe Jesus love for me. For us.)
I’m wrestling with Jesus love right now. In my shame I want to reject his love. Yet, his grace and mercy are there to pour even more love on me when I feel I deserve it the least.
I happened to attend a church this evening that was in the middle of the city. It’s in a fairly affluent community. However, when you’re in the city you always have a mix of people walking and driving along the street. As I continued my walk I began to take notice of all of the people. Where I grew up you avoid making eye contact with strangers because it’s often perceived as aggression. I completely ignores my instinct to look at the ground as I walked and started looking people in the eye. As I looked each and everyone one of them in the eye I heard Jesus say, “I died for him. I died for her. And for him. And him. And yes, even for him.
I didn’t know what to do. I just wanted to hug all of them and I really dislike hugging people I don’t know. I just wanted to shout, “Jesus died for you because He loves you!”
I cannot comprehend the love of Jesus. To take on such a task as He did. To say, “forgive for they don’t know what they’re doing” as they murder you. To feel abandoned yet, know you’re doing the right thing (“Eli,Eli, lama sabachthani”My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”)
I pray that one day I can have the love that Jesus has for humanity. For now I will go out into the streets and hug people and tell them, “Jesus died for you because He loves you!”
(I’m not sure if any of that made any sense. It may have all been incoherent ramblings. It’s just what was only mind and heart after a full day of pondering the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.)
“Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us. Spirit of the living God fall afresh on us. Amen”