Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Who are you in Christ's Passion Luke 22:1-23-56?

Early in Jesus ministry John the Baptist called Jesus "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In the cross we see the moment when Jesus is revealed as the lamb who takes away sin in his own death. Through faith Jesus' cross transforms us. Some might hope to sit as neutral observes outside this story; but Christ's innocent death is for us. That makes us participants who both lead Jesus to his cross in our sin and who directly benefit from Jesus suffering and death that overcomes our sin and death.
In the middle of reading the story this year John the Baptist's bold declaration, "behold the lamb" echoes for me each time Jesus is held up for derision. The chief priests (Luke 22:27-56), King Herod (Luke 23:6-12), the leaders of the people and the Roman Soldieres (Luke 23:35-37) even one of the criminals crucified with him mocked him (Luke 23:39). Stepping through the passion my imagination links Jesus beaten and killed with John's words about a lamb taking away sin. A lamb offered up to take awat sin and death with his own suffering and death.
As a dad who looks forward to time with his girls it's hard not to wonder about God the Father's will giving up a son. It's hard to imagine him offering up His Son to suffer and die for another's sake; especially a prodigal; but this is God the Father we are talking about not me or another sinner like me.
Fact is I find myself drawn into Jesus' story this year from the position of a prodigal (Luke 15:11-32). In the cross I see God's own self offered in exchange for me. And Jesus doesn't complain as God the Father seeks out the loss and offers the Son in their place. I find the great blessing to be mine as a wayward child who has returned amd the suffering to be Christ's alone. I find the great challenge as a prodigal facing the cross to be repenting of my own pride. To often I sit like the older brother (Luke 15:25-30)--but in the cross I can't see that any other prodigal's sin is any worse than mine.
My one prayer this Easter is this. May I not be a disinterested observer looking on from a safe vantage point at the cross. I pray that I might be drawn into the cross as a thankful sinner redeemed by the blood of the lamb ready to welcome back others redeemed by the love of the father. AMEN.
Pax, John

1 comment:

John Mundinger said...

Pr. John - you are very welcome. And, thank you for the much greater gift that you share with messages like this one. This is very succinct and very understandable expression of the theology of the cross. My prayer and expectation is that it will be edifying for everyone who reads it.