This past week was Holy Week, an important week for Christians around the world. Throughout the Lenten season, I’ve really felt the suckiness of my sin. (BTW, did they plan Lent at the crapiest time of year on purpose? Dreadful storms, endless winters -for my northern friends- and tax season. I mean come on. As if this is an ideal time to fast from coffee.) So I’ve carried in me the grief of my own shortcoming as well as the world’s. Yes, Jesus died and rose again so we could be free from sin forever, but clearly his people have not mastered living this way yet.
So it’s been healthy for me to consider how absolutely devastating it would be to suffer in our jacked-up-ness if there was no way out. What if Jesus had just decided, “You know, humans, you’re just too far gone. I mean, even my closest friends and family, they don’t get it what I am trying to do here. It’s not worth it. And you religious bunch, you’re just the worst. You know you’re going to kill me, right? For loving the wrong people and feeding all the poor you let go hungry? Not gonna lie, I had it pretty good before I started using rocks for a pillow.”
Take a second and think about that.
He could have said no thanks. And we would have no hope. Because the thing I most realized about me and my junk: I cannot deal with it all alone. I can’t. I’ve tried, I’ve cried, I’ve confessed, tried again, and I get no where without the way of Jesus.
This week as we’ve read through and revisited the courageous journey our Savior Jesus surrendered to, a couple thousand years ago, something new struck me:
Jesus is badass.
Most of you probably remember the details of the torture he suffered even before He was nailed to a cross. The physical, mental, emotional, spiritual abuse. He was sentenced to a humiliating, criminal’s execution, and His accusers and abusers made sure He was put in His place…”King of the Jews? We have no king but Cesar.” And they made every effort to strip Him of dignity in practically every way.
He died. An ironic sign hung over head, etched out in three languages:
Jesus, King of the Jews.
But then, at the very moment, when all seemed lost, the world quaked with the groans of birthing triumph. Those at the foot of the cross, the very ones that scorned him, their breath caught in their throats, all mocking ceased, and they exclaimed, “This man was the Son of God!” (I would have cussed here, too.)
The next three days were filled with the eeriness of the unknown. Heartbreak. Confusion. Unrest. Anxiety.
Then He got up.
Life would never, ever be the same.
The story that God’s writing–of paradise lost, to the upside down redemption of the whole world by a servant king in disguise–it just gets me. And we are a part of the rest of the story. I am not sure how things will go down in the future, and the book of Revelation kind of freaks me out, but I like the part where John says that one day, Jesus will return on this beautiful white horse to set all things right. And what will he have besides the scars from when we killed him? He has divine tattoos. (Name of your next tattoo parlor.) You know what they say?
KING OF KINGS.
The more I get to know Jesus, the more I see Him as a man with the biggest, most compassionate heart to ever beat on this earth. He couldn’t leave us. He would never do that. He knew loving us would cost Him, but He said yes. And throughout His story of walking around with humans, you catch these glimpses… you know, the way He fashioned a whip to make a point and drove cattle with His mad whipping skillz. The way He addressed those pompous Pharisees. The way hundreds of Roman soldiers fell to the ground when He said, “I AM He.” And when I considered that sign at the crucifixion being essentially struck through and upgraded –for the entire world to see –forever on the living flesh of King Jesus –I just have to give Him a nod.
Jesus, you’re badass.
Sunday’s comin’ y’all.