Friday, 25 March 2016

My Heart on the Cross

I see a bloody, broken figure hanging limply from two slats of wood. He has been mocked, whipped, cursed, and forced to carry the weight of that which would be his means of execution. Not once has he complained. ‘And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried’. Through my tears I see him smile. His eyes reveal no hint of condemnation or regret, but only mercy and love. In my own brokenness and desperation I suddenly understand. Mine are the nails through his hands, mine the lashes on his back. He deserves none of it, yet has taken it all. He smiles and willingly accepts. He has never blamed me for His pain like I’ve been tempted to blame Him for mine.

‘For the joy set before him, he endured the cross.’ Jesus breathed His last breath and His accusers thought it was over, but Christ’s walk to Calvary never held the cross as the end goal. He knew where He was truly going: to be with His Father. In the light of that hope all earthly suffering became as nothing. 

In Him we have the hope of the same Resurrection! We have the promise of eternal life in his glorious Kingdom, where all pain will cease and every tear be wiped away!

But we too must walk the way of the cross, because the cross and the Resurrection cannot be separated. Even in His glorified state, Jesus still bore the wounds inflicted on Him. Heaven wasn’t a replacement for His life on earth, it was the fulfilment of it! It’s in embracing our cross for the sake of heaven that we find our way there. The journey may not seem direct or easy, but do we trust Jesus to guide us there? Do we hand over ourselves completely in faith, knowing that He will not abandon us or mislead us? Will we join with Him in our pain to join with Him in His glory? Will we await with joyful expectation the day when the wounds of our crosses will also be glorified?

Jesus held nothing back. Never for a moment has He withheld Himself from me. Do I, in my weakness, hold back from Him? Am I willing to suffer the torments of the cross with joy because each wound of mine is offered as a consolation for His? I doubt my own strength, but I trust in His.

All I can do is place my heart on that cross, a humble offering but all I have, and say ‘Jesus, for you.’

Each time a sister’s cruel words pierce my heart like the lance that pierced my Lord’s.
Jesus, for you.

In the fleeting moments of inexplicable sadness when the wounds are re-opened time and again.
Jesus, for you.

When I’m crippled by fear or anxiety and long for relief from the torments of this crown of thorns.
Jesus, for you.

When my muscles aches beyond repair or my body is overcome with sickness. These hands, consecrated to the Lord, can offer no more. These feet, blistered and bruised from Calvary’s ascent, yearn to walk on holy ground.
Jesus, for you.

When life’s scourging becomes unbearable, and I lie bleeding in the dusty wasteland of my own heart.
Jesus, for you.

Because, Jesus, this life is all for you. You have my heart. You have my mind. You have my hands and my feet. For the hope of the glorious Resurrection I gladly share in the torments of your crucifixion in my own way. May my heart be united with yours in joy and in sorrow.

May I one day be with you where you are.

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