‘Many are awed by His miracles; few accept the shame of His Cross.’ Thomas a Kempis
From the beginning of His adult ministry, Jesus set His face like flint toward Jerusalem. He lived, breathed, and progressed Cross-ward. His destiny was death. For the life of the world.
This Good Friday, we may be less inclined to leap over the Crucified for miracles of new life. His broken Body stops us in our tracks as we wonder if we’ve a fever, or worse yet, if the mourner next to us is burning.
No stranger to miracles, Jesus performed plenty in order to prophecy the glory that would result from His shame. People loved signs and wonders. This frustrated Jesus. He knew that the majority would just end up demanding more signs, not their Savior.
Scripture describes Jesus as unwilling to entrust Himself to the miracle mob (Jn. 2: 18-25). When asked to show them His best ‘trick’, Jesus responded ‘crossly’: ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days’ (v. 19).
Conversion to the Savior means seeing only Him who goes before us to Calvary. The greatest miracle? That we now see how our sins pierced Him (Zech. 12:10) and we grieve, not as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4: 13b, 14) but with eyes who can see our hope. Our only One.
Our gift is attentiveness, small tokens of gratitude mouthed without sound but from our depths. We know His shameful scourge will become a fountain that cancels our shame and makes all things new (Zech. 13:1, 2). Let our worship rise fragrantly, like the oil Mary used to anoint Jesus for His death (Jn. 12:7).
We can add nothing to His gift of Blood and Water: fitting in plague time when, apart from noble medics and politicians, our hands are tied. Maybe, just maybe ‘we will never again say “Our gods” to the work of our hands’ (Hosea 14:3b). Under house arrest, we give up our schemes; we ‘die’ to any illusion of control. Today, Someone else is doing the hard work that gives life to the world.
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