The Day Jesus Died
One of the worse things about falling behind in the reading (besides the absence of the Word of God I feel) is how much good stuff there is to write about when I catch up! But I only have time for one or two topics.
Catching up today I read about Gideon, his methods of discernment and God miraculously delivering the Israelites. I read many good Psalms all together. And I read what I will talk about: Jesus's crucifixion.
Starting with Jesus's anguish in the garden. This is probably the most relatable part of Jesus's crucifixion story for us...Jesus was begging God to release Him, "please don't make me do this." He sweat drops of blood.
I had a teacher in middle school who had a pet macaw. He was a big, beautiful and colorful bird with a lot of personality, she had raised him from an egg. When she told us the story of Jesus praying and sweating blood in the garden, she told us that she had seen anguish manifested in that way. Her bird would become so incredibly stressed when she needed to clip his nails that he would cry drops of blood. It was interesting because though I think Jesus's stress was obviously more valid, it is true that stress and fear can do that to a body.
He prayed for God to release Him, yes, but even in His immense stress and fear He prayed most of all that God would have His way.
I often find myself led to pray "have Your way." And I do. But it is almost never without a knot of fear in my stomach. Because God's way is so scary sometimes. I'm scared to surrender to it. But I've learned to pray "have Your way" because I know things are going to be scary anyway. And because I know that if it's God's will it will always been doused in goodness, joy, love, grace...it will be the best thing.
Jesus's prayer "have Your way" serves as an example of this. What could be scarier? What could be worse? Jesus dying on the cross! And yet it is doused in goodness, joy, love, grace...not only did it mean you and I and everyone else is forgiven... but Jesus rose from the grave: Jesus defeated death.
So yes, God, "have Your way" because it is very good.
When Jesus was crucified the sky went dark at noon. Such a bold little detail. I forget about that part every time. How weird! Can you imagine being there? I think it was an eclipse. I think about the recent eclipse we had in America. My friends and family who were there for totality talked about the eeriness. The dogs, the birds, were totally thrown off. Roosters were going nuts. It got so cold with the sun gone. They could see the stars. They texted all these things and I said, "I feel like I'm reading Scripture."
This was the day Jesus died...a gnarly terrifying eclipse that made the earth dark and cold for three hours. And for the people who were there I would think it would at least make them wonder if Jesus was actually the Son of God.
The animals must have flipped. The people must have felt the same eery sense as we all do during the cosmic phenomenon...combined with what must have been the most chilling thought that they were killing God.
The curtain tore.
And Jesus forever sealed every man for an eternal life of joy and wholeness...He did this all for even the very people sitting terrified in the dark that eery day...He even did this for you and me...who might as well have physically nailed Him to that cross too.
He did it for all of us, His enemies, to make us His friends, to make us His brothers and sisters.
He did this so we can be children of God.
God, have Your way.
Your way calls me to You. And with You is where I want to be.