They killed my Jesus.
How could they kill my Jesus? How could they kill the only one who fills my breathless lungs with life and leaves the ninety-nine to rescue me?
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine plus the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? and when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not repent.
Make yourself at home, sit before the cross, and let's grieve the loss of our Savior.
The cross taught us about the gravity of our sin.
It was not the nails nor the soldiers that held our sweet Jesus to the cross. It was you. It was me. It was our mistakes. It was our pain. It was our selfishness. It was our wandering hearts. It was every lie we have ever spoken and every person we have held above Jesus. It was every moment we thought we were better and more important than others and reacted with unjustified anger. It was every time we looked past those in need and craved the better that others had. It was every time we chose ourselves over Jesus.
It was me who should have been bound to that cross. It was me who Jesus looked at with merciful eyes and chose to show love in the most excruciating way. It was me who He looked at and saw a future that I could not even see for myself. It was me who He chose to fill with ground-breaking, veil-tearing hope. Oh, how abandoned my sweet Jesus felt on that cross. Screams of anguish and redemptive pain. Screams of surrender and sorrow. Screams of I love you's.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice and gave up His spirit. At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open.
In a sense, the cross of unhindered self-sacrifice is the most profound and painful to carry. There is a timeless hope in knowing that the weight of the cross we carry is never heavier than the cross our Jesus carried for us. The hill of Calvary has become our place of excruciating redemption. The place in which God's awaited promise was firmly established. The place in which God stood victorious as the light demolished the darkness and our guilt and shame were stained with blood. The sacred veil tore in half, and in the most glorifying and excruciating way, the wrath of God was satisfied and the barrier between human weakness and unexplainable strength was crushed under the foot of the Almighty. It was the only time in history where Heaven held its breath for a miracle. And in that very moment, the torn body of Jesus held the weight of a soul-crushing, sinful world on His shoulders.
Lay it down, Sister, the cost was too high to not. Lay down your broken pieces and burning desires at the foot of the cross with full surrender and sacrifice. He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought peace to us was on Him, and by His wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). Loving recklessly until it hurts is the weight we hold as followers of Jesus. But we know that even when the world hates us, it hated Jesus first. We know, through Him, that not only are we forgiven, but that pain was the way in which God chose to show His unhindered love for us.
I pray that we see this season as a time to mourn and grieve the death of our Savior. That we realize we are nothing apart from the grace and mercy of Jesus. Every wound on His body was a wound that was meant for mine.
So we know, from what He has done, that He is not finished with us yet. His love and sacrifice does not end on the cross. It carries us with each and every breath we take. His sacrifice on the cross was not just something that happened a long, long time ago, but rather carries us through the conviction of our sinful hearts and sets us free from the chains that hold us captive. He took upon Himself the most horrific death for the sake of our reconciliation.
It is the hope of the cross that holds us fast.
The story does not end on the cross. If Jesus was held by the grip of death, we would never be able to see the other side. When we were alone in our sorrow, He ran out of that grave!
"Long before you woke up this morning and long after you go to sleep tonight, the Spirit of God was circling you with songs of deliverance. He has been circling you since the day you were conceived, and He will circle you until the day you die. He is praying hard for you with ultrasonic groans that cannot be formulated into words, and those unutterable intercessions should fill you with an unspeakable confidence."
-The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson
You are the daughter of the Risen King. You were chosen and hold value in the Kingdom of God. Jesus needs you to run out of that grave, too. Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?!