Passing through a conduit involving airport security checkpoints, stale re-circulated air, hours of travel and a bumpy, dusty ride in a four-wheel drive vehicle had taken the missionary from a world of wealth, incredible conveniences, electricity and running water into the stark reality of savanna bare existence. But this journey was nothing compared to what Jesus gave up and what he would do.
The Word left glory with the Father, purity, love, and holiness to become flesh and blood. As a child and then a man, Jesus was now in another world. This was a world destroyed by greed, lies, and every form of idolatry.
As he walked along a road, how many times had Jesus’ feet scuffed up small clouds of dust, knowing the scene before him was his destiny? A naked body stretched out on wooden beams marked another life facing the sentence of death. What was it that would empower him to take another footstep forward knowing each step took him closer to such a barbaric end? Jesus’ struggle in prayer shortly before his betrayal reveals at least part of his motivation. To the Father the words arose, “Not my will but yours be done.” What was the Father doing?
Unbelievable grace would soon be poured out. The iron grasp of the dominion of darkness was about to be smashed through his death on wooden beams. The path to freedom from our shackles in order to belong to God would soon be a reality. God’s promise of eternal life was about to radiate from the cross to liars, the greedy, the immoral, slanderers, the envious, the rebellious, and to those accused of every form of guilt, if they would come to the one lifted up.
None of us will ever deserve being rescued from our alienation from God to being made holy and blameless in God’s sight. As we gather around the Lord’s table to partake of the bread and fruit of the vine, we remember Jesus’ physical body upon the cross. We remember his death. We are reminded of the price which was paid for our life.
We stand amazed in the presence of such love and grace. But how accurately do we understand the depth of our sin forgiven through Christ? How deep is our love? How determined is our response to grace poured out on wooden beams?
For further reflection consider:
Colossians 1:13,14, 21-23