Today is Friday, Good Friday, which means that it all started last night. On a Thursday, he broke bread and poured wine and explained how his body would be broken and his blood would be spilled. He washed their feet. He walked out to pray, alone; "and being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." Judas arrived and kissed him.
Today, he was beaten; it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer. It was planned before the beginning of time. He hung and died; he cried out in a loud voice, he said "It is finished." The LORD had laid on him the iniquities of us all -all of our ugliness, all of our darkness- and in one sublime moment, the price was paid. He scorned its shame and sat down at the right hand of God.
My son does not understand all of this. That a meal could represent the moment when the God of the universe had nails driven through his hands and feet, that a meal could be anything at all other than us sitting around our yellow table, this is something I cannot explain. But what I can explain, I do. And I remember the moment -and praise God for it, and tremble when I think of it- that we talked about the crucifixion, and then about the empty tomb. And I said "And why did Jesus come back to life?" and he looked at me with a mix of astonishment and wonder and said "Because he's God." That moment, when he suddenly realized that Jesus, whose cartooned image was covered in bruises and cuts, was one and the same as the God on page one who, with merely a word, created light in darkness; that it was God himself who offered himself in our place - how can this sentence even end? What words can do it justice? We sat together bent over a picture Bible while the angels rejoiced in Heaven.
It bears repeating; it should be said a thousand times: Jesus, who died on the cross, he is God Almighty. He is strong, he is good; his love is incomprehensible, it's wide and long and high and deep, it's fierce and unrelenting. It is beyond understanding and yet not beyond reach of a two year old. My heart, it melts within me; that's my God, that's my God.
Picture time - Summer 2017
5 weeks ago