Okay, so I have come up with something to talk about (we all knew it would happen).
Lately, I've been really thinking about Jesus and the cross. It's appropriate, of course, with Easter just a month or so away. I've always had good intentions to participate in Lent, though I never have. I'm not normally this contemplative.
There's a big controversy in the evangelical sector over a pastor, Rob Bell, and his new book, Love Wins. I don't intend to start an argument here in this post, so please don't do that. I just wanted to say that thinking through the implications of his belief system has had me considering what I believe about the cross and what its purpose was--what Jesus' suffering did, both for Him and for me. He became sin, not just carried it, but He actually BECAME it. I cannot imagine what that must have felt like. I know how I feel when I sin--ashamed, guilty, and burdened by my own depravity. I can't imagine what He felt especially because He had never known it.
I think about how the Bible says He descended INTO hell. Can you imagine? He was the perfect, holy Son of the Living God. He became sin and descended into the place the Father prepared for Satan and his demons. Do you think at that moment that Satan thought he had won the battle? Do you think he rejoiced over Jesus' descent? I can imagine the look on his face when the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead. Shock. Confusion. Anger.
I don't ever want to be guilty of diminishing His work on the cross. It is central to our Faith. It is faith in this act that redeems us. God forgive me if I have made light of Your holy sacrifice.
I downloaded a free album called Songs for Lent by New York Hymns. You can get it HERE (along with some other GREAT music). It is folky and meditative. I made a playlist for the babies with it because it is so mellow. Each song is for a stage of the cross. As I listen, I am being led through the Passion. Not only is the music great, but the songs have put my heart in a contemplative place. I find myself trying to get inside of Jesus' head and see his thoughts and feelings during that time of suffering.
I have to take the stance that Jesus' death on the cross is relevant to now and the hereafter. I have to believe that He came for a reason. I have to believe that what He did makes all the difference in my life--because I know who I was before HIM. I know that I can't make it on my own. He is so merciful. He is so gracious.
Take some time in this Lenten season and really think about Him--think about His joys, His laughter, His sorrows, His sufferings, His victory! And He did it all for us. Now that's True Love.