Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Leaving Home, Going Home: Jesus on Good Friday
“The first thing I remember about the world…is that I was a stranger in it. This feeling, which is at once the glory and desolation of homo sapiens, provides the only thread of consistency that I can detect in my life.” ~Malcolm Muggeridge
As Good Friday approaches, I am pondering the loneliness, the sense of isolation Jesus must have felt as he prepared to depart from the very world His cosmic intellect and uncontainable love created. Every nook and cranny of this planet, every blade of grass, every hair on every antelope, the soft sand of the Atlantic shoreline, the prickly saguaro cactus, the stinky smell of a stagnant bog – all were put into place by His divine imagination. (Can it even be called imagination when it is the ultimate reality? That’s a blog for another day.) For us, this world carries with it what Malcolm Muggeridge describes above. It’s a place we always find uncomfortable, like we’re wearing someone else’s shoes, only much more important than that. We were designed for a kingdom of love and peace, where an ever present Father walks and talks with us in the cool of the day. But alas, the misery of sin created a devastating chasm. The detached spiritual retina of our human eyes cannot see the Father beside us, and our corrupted bodies have lost all but a faint memory of our true home. But the ache remains, and the foreign feeling of our lives never goes away.
For Jesus, as He approached His passion, I wonder if it was different. When He entered this world, the
came to Earth. He was face to face with all He made. He looked into the eyes of children whose DNA He worked out in eternity past. He knew He was on an island where a terrible shipwreck happened, but it was an island of His very own. I wonder if there was a restless stirring in this true Man of Sorrows, who knew what He must do to rescue the whole lot, but who loved us even in our disastrous state. Was it hard to physically leave us? Was the lure and beauty and perfect fellowship with the Father so enticing, especially knowing He would succeed in saving us, that He never gave a second thought to His departure. He set Himself like flint, but was there more to His anguish than just the agony of a hellish death? Kingdom of God
I don’t know the answer to these questions. I wonder if for Jesus, Earth was missing the same strange, distant loneliness it has for us. He was the architect of the building we occupy. He was the carpenter, the interior decorator, the plumber and the electrician. He built it with extraordinary features to meet the needs of those He was excited to see occupy the place. It was all His from day one. He knew while He walked the road from
Bethlehem to where the religious and political folk would ultimately stop His beating heart, that one day He would tear down this place of His own and remake it, extinguishing all its corruption and violence. Jerusalem
But did it hurt to leave? Could the embodiment of heaven miss heaven?
No matter. On the third day He rose again. So one day, we would come home, never to feel like aliens on foreign turf again. Blessed be His name forever. He is risen. He is risen indeed!
Your friend on the pilgrim road,