He played out His hand.
On that cross as the doubters and the mockers dared Him to call down angels instead. He didn’t. He went all the way. Abandoned. Death.
Our ‘man of sorrows‘ did not come promising you safety or a three car garage. Anyone who tells you different is a liar or a thief. Probably both.
Someone once accused me of using religion as a crutch and if I am honest, of course I do. I believe the whole world to be walking with a pretty painful limp. The God I know, even in his resurrected body choose to keep the scars on His hands; told doubting Thomas to stick his finger in it. As Dorothy Sayers puts it:
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is – limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death – he had the honesty and courage to take his own medicine. Whatever game he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair.
I love this more than I could say: God could have solved our problem a thousand other ways, but He choose the painful one. He did not choose a shortcut. He took the way of poverty, lonliness, isolation, despair, torture and betrayal. He is the one that would let us know that He truly is the “WITH US” God. The way that would prove to us that even the most hopeless situation, even when the clouds gather and the rocks split open, even when betrayal is the entirety of our vision…still…always…resurrection might be just three days out.
For your prodical child, your dying marriage, your ill body, your troubled mind, your broken relationship, your failing finances…the rising and the healing could be nearly here. THIS is where our nonsensical hope comes from. We are the Resurection People. There is NOTHING so dead it is beyond Him. I have seen to many miraculous changes to question that for a minute.
Tonight I will watch 16 youth stand up and talk about the ways they are being resurrected already. They will tell me about the hope they have found, the joy that is raising them from the dead and the community that willl hold them up when they forget everything they knew in the light. They will undoubtedly speak of who they were and what it has been to walk in the dark. They they will tell you what it was like for them to meet our man of sorrows, and what resurrection looks like today. It will be just the balm I need to walk into another week of supporting and praying for the young people of our city that walk in near absolute hoplessness….This pain may just be the horizon of thier Rising.
And for just a taste of that Hope? I am ALL. IN.
(Pursuit starts tonight at 6 pm <soup is on for 5:30>… We would love to have you join us! Willow Park Church Hwy 33 W)