Thursday, March 20, 2008

What Are You Looking At? Is This Man's Inhumanity to Man?

What Are You Looking At?

I hate looking at pictures of the crucifixion. It's so twisted and sickening. Is this what man's inhumanity to man looks like?

I don't think so. I think it's a picture of man’s humanity toward man.

It’s a picture of humanity's capacity for:

murder, child abuse, slavery, hatred, rape, the sex trade, racism, despair, abandonment, isolation, bullying, betrayal, serial killings, squalor, slander, genocides, heartbreak, caste systems, adultery, swindling, tyrants, cheating, conspiracies, torture, kidnapping, mockery, shame, depression, death row, guilt.

You’re looking at the weight of the world on one man’s shoulders.

You and I are looking at the dark secrets of our inner selves crawling all over this man like maggots. We may compare ourselves to others and deem ourselves above the evilness of the world, but we are not making the right comparison. What we should be asking is: How does my life compare to his spotless life?

Here is the message:

There's nobody living right, not even one,
nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They've all taken the wrong turn;
they've all wandered down blind alleys.
No one's living right;
I can't find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
their tongues slick as mudslides.
Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
They open their mouths and pollute the air.
They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
Don't know the first thing about living with others.
They never give God the time of day.
This makes it clear, doesn't it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it's clear enough, isn't it, that we're sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God's revelation doesn't put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else's sin. (Romans 3, The Message)

We are complicit. I am complicit. I bore the weight of things you will never know about, but he lifted them off me and bore them on his shoulders like He did a heavy cross.

Then He offered me pardon and peace, and I took it. What an exchange!

I need that pardon every day as I move through my life. What happened 2000 years ago is relevant to me today.

So let me tell you what else I'm looking at:

Love's capacity for sacrifice, radical love, a fresh start, a clean slate, new beginnings, 2nd, 3rd, 4th--infinite chances at new life, unconditional love and acceptance for others, unity, personal freedom, respect for all races and each gender, hope, belonging, heroism, loyalty, justice, spiritual riches, fidelity, fairness, affirmations, purpose, acts of service and kindness, joy, generosity, freedom from the bondage of habits, addictions, hang-ups and fears, family the way it was meant to be, life with meaning and purpose.

You’re looking at the bridge across the great divide between unholy people and a holy God.

You’re looking at the greatest gift.

You are looking at my Savior.

As Aaron Shust has said in the song below, "That he would leave his place on high and come for sinful man to die, you count it strange; so once did I ... before I knew my Savior."

This is my current favorite song with the sweetest, most humble and yet powerful lyrics printed so that you can hear them clearly. I love this song.

16 comments:

Faith said...

What a beautiful post!
We sing this song in church often and I love it. The lyrics are so powerful to me!
Happy Easter.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Preach it, sister Linda.

Heth said...

Beautiful Linda. Amen.

We are watching that movie tonight with our oldest kids. It's so hard to see but necessary.

msdebbiea said...

Yes~~~a perfect reminder. Thank you Linda, and happy Easter to you and your family!

Mocha with Linda said...

Amen and amen.

Barbara H. said...

This is powerful. I was listening to a radio message one night this week when the speaker was getting uncomfortably descriptive about all that Christ endured. It brought home all over again how much He had done for me and how all-too glibly I think of it too often.

The hymn was a poem written by Dorothy Greenwell in 1873. I had posted it once as a poem, not knowing anyone had set it to music. Love the words.

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

Chris said...

Amen sister! Praise Him. Thank Him. Worship Him.

Thank you for this powerful, Holy Spirit-led post. I needed to hear this today.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Amen and Amen! THANK YOU JESUS!

PJ said...

Powerful!!! I loved the song, too.

Melanie said...

We're both writing about this today.

I believe it went dark that day because at that moment all of our sins were upon Him and He would have been so repulsive to look at. The Father spared Him the humiliation and hid the horrible ugliness of it all in the darkness. Imagine what the sins of millions would look like. Imagine how He felt. The shame of it all. And He had done none of it.

I am so glad He loved us enough to go through it all!!

annie's eyes said...

What a day for man. What a Savior! Let us not forget. Blessed Good Friday. Waiting for resurrection...again. Love the Aaron Shust song, too. Hard to look at, hard to fathom that most amazing love. Beautiful post. Love, A

Ann said...

Thank you so much for this post, Linda.

Susanne said...

What a very powerful post, Linda!

samurai said...

Well said Linda... people often look at me like I am crazy when I tell them that man is not inherently good.

May you enjoy the overwhelming sensation of God's overflowing grace, and may the presence of the Holy Spirit be a palpable sensation through your home, and your family.

Lisa writes... said...

While we were yet sinners, Christ died...amazing grace!

P.S. It's been awhile since I've been by, your new look is GORGEOUS!

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

S.P.E.E.C.H.L.E.S.S.

BTW.. I love your new look

HAPPY EASTER