Sat, 23 April 2011
The sun came up like every other Saturday. The roosters crowed. The blue sky blanketed the heavens as if the very foundations of the world hadn’t been shaken to their core just a day before. Yet wasn’t it mere hours ago that the earth trembled and rocks split apart, that the sky turned black and sun went dark?
It was a horrible sight. The graceful teacher whose gentle hands had reached out to lepers, blind men and children were gnarled around a ghastly iron rod. The touch that brought comfort and hope was now mangled and repulsive, the perfect companions to gouged feet that were no longer free to fulfill the promise to “follow me.”
He had promised that he would carry unbearable burdens. He said his own yoke was easy; his burden was light. But who could bear the burden he carried now? With a back mutilated by scourging, his own weight had become a burden too heavy to lift for even a breath. His once strong arms raised high to calm a raging sea were unable to reach down to calm his own mother weeping before him. Nothing about him was recognizable. How could this be the man who amazed even his enemies with his wisdom and power? A helpless broken bloodied bruised convicted man hung yielding to an unspeakable penalty before a throng of mockers. It was an unimaginable end to the journey. They screamed, “You saved others, why don’t you save yourself?”
It was what his own friends wanted to cry out. “Save yourself. Save your reputation. Save all the work we did together these last three years. Save the plan. Save your people. Save yourself! Show them it isn’t all a lie. Show them who you are. Show them we did not waste our time following you. Show them!”
Nothing about the man on the cross was familiar. This could not be the man who captivated them all. Had it even been real? Had he really been sent from God? Could it all have been a delusion? Had sane men forsaken everything to follow a fraud?
He was speaking. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
Forgive them? Mockers. Murderers. Certainly they knew what they were doing. They were torturing and killing an innocent man. The guilty rejecting the innocent. How could that be forgiven? How could he desire that they walk away absolved?
The agony of it was almost beyond comprehension. If he was helpless, those who watched were even more powerless. The ache of despair grew with each passing moment. Those who put their trust in him now had to question: How could this happen? It has all gone out of control? God where are you now?
All hope was gone. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.”
His final words echoed to the depths of the earth as death swallowed him.
“It is finished.” The ground shook. The sky grew black. The sun was extinguished. With his last shuddering breath, the world shuddered with him, unable to keep its composure. It was finished indeed.
Saturday the sun rose as if it had all been just a nightmare chased away by the dawn of a new day. Had it been real? Was he really the Son of God he claimed to be? It’s inexplicable that God would allow his own son to suffer such torture. How could the Son of God be restrained by mere nails and wood? Why? Why?
The sun rose Saturday but there was no light. There was only death, regret, chaos, abandonment, and humiliation. There was no hope and no anticipation. All had failed him and He, it seemed, had failed. The kingdom of God had not come after all.
Sunday dawned. Once again the earth shook, but this time it was death that was swallowed up; death that was gasping it’s last; death that was crucified once and for all. Shaking off the defeat and decay of mortality, humiliation was consumed by splendor. Hurled from the darkest despair to a new world too inconceivable to begin to reason, those who abandoned him basked once again in the gaze of unimaginable love.
The reality of the Risen Christ collided with the expectations of mortal man. What should a Savior be? How will the world be set right? Suffering servant. The innocent for the guilty. Death as the path to Life.
Tomorrow the sun will rise. A rooster will crow somewhere. Blue skies will blanket the heavens. And the reality of Easter’s revelations will continue to shake the world to its very foundations.
COPYRIGHT 2011 Kim Wier
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35pm EDT