Don’t Hide Yourself.

4/10
((from Kate))

In the Starbucks drive-thru while handing me my go-to chai, the barista asked “Did you get that leaf from church?” He nodded to the palm frond in the front seat that I’d waved during worship on Palm Sunday. “Hahaha, well, what if I did? Doesn’t Jesus have to love the thieves too?” He laughed along with me, “I guess He has to.”

I slid back out onto the main street, still with a tilt of a smile on my face. But wait, sure it was just light-hearted banter, but was there something more to that little slice of theology?

Does Jesus ‘have to’ love us all, even the thieves?

“Two others, both criminals, were taken along with Him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified Him, along with the criminals, one on His right, the other on his left. Jesus prayed, ‘Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.’ Dividing up His clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, ‘He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!’ The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: ‘So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!’ One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: ‘Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!’ But the other one made him shut up: ‘Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this. Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.'”
Luke 23:32-43

And re-reading the crucifixion of our God – in flesh that’d been ripped off his bones from the torture of trained monsters, scraping his bloodied body against splintered beams of wood as He struggled to pull up on hands with spikes through them just to catch His breath, there wasn’t a moment without grace, without love, without forgiveness. In the moments of a physical agony you and I can’t imagine, His heart beat for the sinners to join Him forever. He didn’t ‘have’ forgive them, or us – HE CHOSE TO! And He continues to choose to. 

He chose to take on the sins of the world, though it separated Him from His Papa.
He chose put on skin and come to earth to teach us.
He chose to be murdered.
He chose forgiveness … and, like the thieves by his side, all we have to do is ask.

While we sit in the week of Easter (and OH! come Sunday how we’ll celebrate the greatest miracle of eternity!), we also are mere days away from Good Friday and I would encourage us thieves (and liars and adulterers and greedy prideful broken everyone) to really hunker down in the sacrifice HE CHOSE.  Grieve it. Feel it. Cry over it. Cry out TO HIM! Because we are the why. 

I didn’t know how meaningful this post was going to be to my own heart before I started wrestling it outta my guts onto the keys. But as I wrote and wrote, a song came through my headphones that left me sobbing (in public. awkward. worth it.) And the Holy Spirit spoke to me over and over and over as I kept hitting ‘repeat’ … You can give it a listen  and  you’ll notice that the lyrics volley between Christ’s heart for us while He died and what should be our heart for Christ as we meditate on His death…

 

I don’t want to feel better
I don’t want to feel good
I want to feel it hurt like losing someone should

I’m gonna let my heart break
I’m gonna let it burn
I’m gonna stake my claim with the flame I know we’ve earned

Run baby run
Don’t you know I’ve tried
But escape is a waste ain’t no use in hiding
you know the best way over’s through

So if it matters let it matter
If your heart’s breaking let it ache
Catch those pieces as they scatter
Know your hurt is not in vain

Don’t hide yourself from the horror
Hurt today here tomorrow
If it’s fragile and it shatters
Let it matter, let it matter

They say you know it ain’t easy
I wouldn’t want it to be
Cause ease is for the shallow
But we were from the deep

I don’t want no distractions
Don’t try to please me for one day
You are worth the joy my love,
and you are worth this pain

Run baby run
Don’t you know I’ve tried
But escape is a waste ain’t no use in hiding
you know the best way over’s through

If it matters let it matter
If your heart’s breaking let it ache
Catch those pieces as they scatter
Know your hurt is not in vain

Don’t hide yourself from the horror
Hurt today here tomorrow
If it’s fragile and it shatters
Let it matter, let it matter

johnnyswim

One Comment Add yours

  1. Amber says:

    Love this! What a great reminder that just as Jesus CHOSE to forgive our sins so we could join them in heaven, we must also forgive others. It may be a daily prayer for forgiveness but if we deserve it (as sinful and broken as we are) then surely they deserve it too!

    Like

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