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.