Friday, April 6, 2012
He Came to Save
Keep us near;
help us in our finite to know your infinite more deeply.
Keep us needy;
help us to see You…our only hope, our only desire.
Keep us at the cross;
help us to see you in our place, our sin bearing down.
On a day like today, I imagine, with the sun bearing down, He rose and walked down the sandy path, with a cross of wood upon His shoulders. He walked knowingly, expectantly. He would redeem His Father’s people on this day. He took the wrath, the beating, the pain, the agony. Without complaint. And yet, as the hour drew nearer, the weight of an eternity of sin upon His shoulders, He cried out.
”Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani”
As Philip Graham Ryken put it,
“Jesus Christ could tell when his intimacy with God the Father was interrupted. When that happened, he knew that he had been forsaken…It was as if God had taken a giant bucket and scooped up all the sins of his people-all the jealousy, and the anger and the lying, all the rebellion and the stealing and the incest, all the hypocrisy and the envy and the swearing-and dumped them all out on Jesus Christ…Once he had done that, the Father had to forsake all that sin. When Jesus was wearing our sin on the cross, God the Father could not bear to look at the sin or at his Son. He had to avert his gaze…When Jesus Christ picked up our sins, he became a curse for us, and when he became a curse for us, he was accursed by God. God was not forsaking his Son as much as he was forsaking the sin the Son was carrying.” (Guthrie, 87)
Can you imagine? My mind cannot comprehend, the pain He took on, the forsaking He endured, the sacrifice He made. And yet on this day we can rejoice. If He has called us by name, cleansed our hearts as only He can, and given us hearts of flesh…today we can remember, with gratitude overflowing. Our Savior took on the sin of the world so that we may have new life.
As an endnote, we have some favorites that we use in preparing our hearts for Easter throughout the Lenten season. We highly recommend:
Keep Me Near the Cross by Nancy Guthrie (quote above from this book)
Lenten Lights by Noel Piper
Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper (great ideas for little ones)
Wishing you all a very blessed Easter as we remember together our Savior!