Hope

In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Saviour,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.
Ps 25 v1-7

It is Easter again, and I am only just beginning to get my head around it.  For so many of us, Easter is a welcome respite from a long, hard work week – an extra day in a weekend to recover from everything we have had to do, all that life has thrown at us.

But Easter is so much more.  It is literally the pivot point of history, a kairos moment that turns darkness to light, death to life, despair to hope.  Before, we were lost in a mess of our own making, straining unsuccessfully to reach for the light we had lost.  After, we found a Way had been made for us, forgiveness bestowed, the light Himself had come down to rescue us.

To get there though, we cannot skip Good Friday.  We all want the Good News of Easter Sunday – He is Risen! – but we shy away from the full reality of the cost paid on Good Friday.  The physical description of crucifixion is bad enough, but that was a pale shadow of the real sacrifice Jesus paid – the one that culminated in, with a loud shout – It Is Finished!

crown of thorns2

At that moment, He had taken on the fullness of our sin, and in so doing found Himself separated from the One with whom He had enjoyed communion before the founding of the world.  I can only begin to imagine that cost – immense, unimaginable, soul crushing, heart breaking.

As the Holy Spirit continues to illuminate my heart, I begin to see more and more His gift.  On the surface, I live a pretty ‘good’ life – but there is still, even after all these years, such darkness to plumb.  Selfish, unloving thoughtlessness – the Trinity I often de-facto worship is the one of Me, Myself and I.

Those who have been forgiven little, love little.  Those who have been forgiven much, love much!  Only, we have all been forgiven so much, if we only have eyes to see.  The debt that Jesus paid was not trivial.  There is no such thing as a venial sin – only sins of which the essential offensiveness have not yet been fully comprehended.

We can only fully appreciate the sacrifice made on Good Friday when we have our own hearts revealed to us – and it is the same realisation that brings the hope and joy of the risen Christ on Easter Sunday.  Now that is Good News!

easter-1443348_1920

 

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