This Easter feels different, it’s like I’m hyper-aware of what’s actually going on. I’m not sure if it has to do with being a parent, or am just now beginning to be aware again of a world outside myself with just as much hurt and so much more than I’ve experienced over the last two years, or it’s simply the work of the Holy Spirit, but I think it started with the question my daughter asked me in the car on our way to school in a hurry (always) the other morning.
“Mom, did Jesus have a crown?”
“Yes--but it wasn’t a real crown. It was a crown made out of thorns that men put on his head to mock Jesus.”
“What does mock mean?”
“It means making fun of someone.”
And that’s when I broke down, because I thought of these verses:
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--just as my father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep...vs 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
There He was, King. A real, live king among wretched depraved servant-souls, much like my own. He had the choice. The choice to lay down his life, the High Priest offering Himself.
My sister and I have been discussing the portion of Exodus 32 where Moses, after he comes back down the mountain from receiving the Ten Commandments to find that the Israelites went directly against what the Lord had commanded by erecting a golden calf and worshipping it. Moses was incensed. He broke the tablets with the Commandments on it, melted the idol, ground it into powder and made the Israelites drink it. But, his heart is torn. In order to advocate for his people Moses went back to the Lord and acknowledged their grievous sins, asking, “ But now, please forgive their sin--but if not then blot me out of the book you have written.” Wow, this isn’t something you enter into lightly with a Holy God. Moses was saying, essentially, Lord, take my salvation from me if it means saving these people. But our just Lord came back to him with “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”
My sister mentioned this story twice over the phone this week and it didn’t click until just now. This was just a glimmer of what was to come: a perfect, sinless, holy Lamb who was willing to lay down his life for his people--and a trust in his Father to know that he would take it up again. He knew, that taking on the sin of the world would mean separation from His Father and yet He did it anyway.
Can I say that? “ Lord, I am willing to be separated for eternity from you in order to see the ones I love and don’t love around me come to a knowledge of yourself.” Because Christ did that unfathomable work on the cross we don’t have to. Thank you.