Fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Romans 12:2 MSG

Thursday, March 29, 2018

How He Loves Us

The theme of David Crowder’s song brings tears to the eyes every time.  As the words sing out the heart wells up with joy.

When I think on these Three Days of Holy Week that culminate in resurrection, it is God’s Yes that breaks through for all of creation.  

Oh how he loves us!  Oh how he loves us!  

Love most often looks like laying down our lives.  Love most often looks like letting go.  Love most often involves suffering and pain and tears.  

Jesus gathers at the table……and he feeds all of them.  He withholds not one ounce of himself from the gathered community.  Jesus kneels to serve as only Jesus can.  He washes…..makes clean….blesses….encourages….models…..witnesses to the way we are to live our lives.  

Jesus prays….and we sleep….Jesus prays through blood, sweat, and tears….and we lazily engage in faith….Jesus wrestles deeply with the call on his life….and we take for granted this one life that we have been granted to live.  

Jesus is arrested….and we watch and wonder.  Will the same happen to us?  Would we bear the cost that Jesus bears?  We betray in small and significant ways.  The world barely notices….and so we continue in our betrayal.  

Jesus is mocked and ridiculed in the kangaroo court.  Jesus is beaten nearly to death.  Why?  Because we would rather have God in a box versus God unleashed.  God far removed versus God incarnate.  God that mimics our self-made world view versus a God that radically reshapes and transforms lives.  

Love….no.  A life of service….no.  Grace upon grace….no. Bearing the cost….no.   Suffering and  Death and resurrection….no.  One humanity….no.  One world….no.  

Military might…yes.   Country allegiance….yes.  God on our terms…yes.  Religious persecution….yes.  Racism, sexism, every human made ism…..yes.  Judgment and condemnation…..yes.  

The Cross is raised because the world constantly demands pounds of flesh in our brokenness.  Nails piercing his body…holding him there for all the world to see.  The stone is rolled shut.  Away with him.  Finally we are done with his vision and voice…..we can listen to the idle chatter of our own.

And yet…..God’s Yes is bigger than our No!  God speaks…..the earth quakes….an unshakeable God shakes the earth to the core and rattles the cages that seek to hold us back and down.  Even death….stinking death….will not have the last word.  Jesus leaps up off that cold hard granite and breathes deeply in….and out…..inhaling and exhaling in new found life.  Jesus alive….for you and me.   Jesus alive for all of creation.  The angels….the women….the disciples…..forever changed.  A new thing has taken place.  

You cannot go back to the ugliness of that day.  You can only move forward from that place of death knowing with full conviction that God is up to something beyond compare.  Resurrection… the here….in the now….lives forever changed.  All of creation….given this gift in order to be made fully alive.  

Love often is like letting go, laying life down, dying to self, dying to the ways of the world, being emptied, SO THAT God can take that empty tomb space and fill it to the brim with new life.  

Are we fully alive?  If not, why not?  Jesus was raised for you!    

Oh how he loves us!   Oh how he loves us!

May we squeeze every ounce of life out of the resurrection of Jesus and may it radically shake us and our world to full and complete life!


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