Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Day the Sun Refused to Shine

"CRUCIFY HIM!!!" You heard them cry,
on the day the sun refused to shine.

Pilate gave in to the crowd's strong pull,
so off You were led, to the place called the Skull.

With criminals, one on either side,
and the crowds below, their jeerings were snide.

You said, "Father, forgive them," while You hung on a cross;
beneath You, the soldiers were casting their lots.

For what Pilate had written, he gave no excuse,
when he fastened above You, "THE KING OF THE JEWS".

But rather than a demonstration of Your power,
darkness came over the earth in that hour.

The veil of the Temple was torn in two,
when You cried, "Father, I commit My spirit to You."

Like the soldier at the foot of the cross, I now stand,
saying, "Surely, this was a righteous man."

And like the thief, "Jesus, remember me!" I cry;
I know that for my sins, I deserve to die.

Even still, You look at me, with love in Your eyes,
and promise me a home with You in Paradise.

For on this day, when the sun refused to shine,
the Son purchased me with His blood,
and said, "This child is now mine."

Monday, May 2, 2016

What Do You See???

(Reflections on Jesus' Arrest and Trial, from John 18-19)

There's such a stark contrast in this passage,
where I see myself, and where I see Jesus.

I see myself in Peter:
wanting to serve Jesus, but going about it all wrong;
trying to follow Jesus, but giving up on Him when fear takes over.

I see myself in Pilate:
knowing what is right, but not having the courage to do it.

I see myself in Barabbas:
a prisoner deserving of death, but set free by the love of Jesus.

And sometimes, yes, I see myself in the Jews, shouting, "Crucify Him!"
For it was their eyes He had opened; it was their lame that could walk.
It was their lepers that were healed; and it was their dead He had raised.

And yet, when they chose to shout, "Crucify Him!"
it was because they had forgotten all the good He had done for them.

Likewise, when I make some of the choices I make,
it is because I have forgotten all the good He has done for me.

But if I stop there--if all I see in this passage is me--I miss out on the gospel;
I miss out on Jesus.

Because I also see Jesus in this passage.
I see Him surrendering Himself, but ensuring that His disciples go free.
I see Him healing--even one who came to arrest Him.
I see Him testifying to the truth, regardless of what it will cost Him.
I see Him taking the place of a rightful prisoner.
I see Him silent--not retaliating--even when being mistreated.

In this passage, I see His love,
and I'm grateful for it.

And I'm reminded, as I see Jesus going to the cross,
that He asks me to do the same:
to deny myself, and take up my cross, and follow Him.