Sunday, March 20, 2011

Easter thoughts- Stopping at My Sin

“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I have an almost instant desire in this time of preparation for Easter to jump to the celebration of the empty tomb and Christ raised again. But God has been slowing me down to really know the JOY of victory by first looking at the pain from sin that lead to death… and this Jesus who took it on for me.

I read Martin Luther describe how Christ’s beauty as Son of God (Psalm 45:2) helps us see and know Him more. But it’s in His lack of beauty in human form (Isaiah 53:2) that we can begin to know ourselves.

I deserve those thorns. I deserve the beatings. I deserve the punishment. I don’t want to brush off my hands because I know He took the punishment and miss that I deserved the punishment. I don’t want to forget who I am apart from Christ and who I continually will run back to be again without His grace to endure. I’m ugly. I’m hurtful. I judge others and envy others and desire only for myself- That’s me pounding the nails into His hands. And that sin grieves God and causes so much pain. So I’m looking at it openly and feeling (in a small way) the horrible weight of it and crying over it. Crying because, as I look at it honestly, it feels SO wrong that God would spare me from the punishment and instead inflict it on His beautiful and undeserving Son.

He has in truth borne our stripes. Here, then, in an unspeakably clear mirror you see yourself. You must know that through your sins you are as uncomely and mangled as you see him here. If we consider the persons, we ought to suffer a thousand and again a thousand times more than Christ because he is God and we are dust and ashes, yet it is the reverse. He who had a thousand and again a thousand times less need, has taken upon himself a thousand and again a thousand times more than we”- Martin Luther

God is showing me this. Today, I’m not jumping forward to the victory party and missing what brought that. As I’m reading Christ resolutely set forward to go to Jerusalem, I’m remembering exactly why He went and what He suffered for. He laid down His beauty for my ugliness. And stopping to look at the unfairness of it all will make the celebration of His resurrection that much sweeter and more real. He really loved me so much that He died and took on my punishment so that I could be righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). That is deep, deep love. Wow.

This week I'll start sharing some ways we seek to set our hearts in Christ through our Easter traditions as a family, but, next weekend I'll come back to this and share more of where God's leading me in my personal reflections on Christ and His suffering...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW, Ginny that was powerful !! I even read it to Raymond..Verbalized SOoo so well.. really really makes me stop n think, and beyond that to stay aware, not just til Easter comes either !! I never thought about it like this...i can see how i take what Jesus did for granted maybe EVEN more so in the weeks leading to Easter, anticipating what a joyous day it is. Going to read this to my mom too...she's in such a bad place, mentally, physically and sprititually, ALL the time for so long...anyway, thank you, this shouldnt of had to be written by someone, for me to be more aware of it, but i'm sure glad 'someone' did...Thank you, Someone ! <>>< LOVE Theresa xo