Saturday, April 7, 2012
This whole week - the Passion week of Jesus Christ - I have been praying.
Oh Lord, give me new eyes to see the cross of Christ with a completely different perspective.
Give me a new heart - an undying passion for the cross of Christ.
I've always appreciated Christ's death on the cross, you know - "Thanks a bunch God, that was really nice of you."
I wonder if God sees our distracted thanks around Easter time as a slap in the face? How is it that over any given Easter week, we are likely to think more about our new dress and what is for dinner on Sunday than we are to remember the Son Who saved us?
Here is the Father, Who gave His only precious Son to endure unbelievable torture, so He could save the soldiers who spit in His face, and the Romans who scourged Him, and you and me, who nailed His torn body to the cross.
Here is Christ, sweating great drops of blood because He knew the agony to come. Pouring out His blood, laying down His life - He Who could have destroyed His tormenters with a word -
Instead, He died for them.
He willingly laid down His life.
And we say "thanks"?
I guess I've never thought of it this way. Where is my passion for the cross of Christ? Where is my zealous gratefulness - fervent song of praise - for His gift of love? Why do I not weep tears of undying thankfulness for His gift?
How could a child saved from eternal destruction smile, nod, shake hands, and turn to the next phone call or shopping trip?
I have a desire stirring within me to view the crucifixion of Jesus Christ my Lord through new eyes - the eyes of one who has never before seen such a picture. I could have told you at 3 years old that Jesus loved me, and He died on the cross for me. Somehow, the story has grown cold. I say this with shame and sorrow. But it is the truth.
This will be a different year, by the Lord's strength! I will comprehend the full price my Savior paid. I will see the whip cutting, tearing, ripping His flesh. I will hear His cries, watch the nails driven into the hands that formed me. I will see His blood spill onto the jagged edges of a cruel cross. I will weep with His disciples, marvel with the centurion, and worship with the thief who was saved. I will see the agony, not as a happy child's tale, but as God's unfathomable plan to save the hostile world He loved.
I will praise the Lamb Who was slain, yet Who rose again, Who defied death and darkness and sin and hell, and danced victory over my soul.
And for this gift of salvation, I joyfully give back what little I have to offer:
Because when we see the cross through these eyes, we have no other choice. And we do it with joy.