What you don’t see when you start a race is where you start from. You’re not even looking at it. You’re looking at the finish line. I guess, Jesus, that you didn’t exactly see that rough crossbar of wood, that hill of skulls, the company you’d be keeping, and that black sky as you gave your last breath into a world that didn’t care and under a heaven that was bound by oath to be silent. (Where the angels wailed…)
Peace on earth and goodwill to men. Daddy I want goodwill to all people on this earth. I know that goodwill exists in and through your son. I know that we can put our hands to the cross, shout and cuss, and weep and howl, and the cross will still be there, will still take our pain, our stain. The cross of Jesus is tough enough and dark enough to contain the abysses of my character, my actions, my thoughts and what I am becoming.
And your parents loved you. You were born to a wondering mother who pondered all these things in her heart! Did she truly understand your destiny? No, she didn’t. Did even you in human form truly understand every single part of your destiny? Because we only see dimly now, but we’ll see face to face. In human form, it is likely that some parts of your divine character, some details of your omniscience, were clouded.
You were utter obedience to Daddy. You were ‘What’s next?’ There was no hesitation or questioning, just obedience. You gazed up at the outrageous night sky when you were born and you asked ‘What’s next?’ Then you debated the Pharisees and the rabbis into the dust in the Temple at aged twelve and asked ‘What’s next?’ You rode into Jerusalem, the joy of the whole earth, on an ass, making a statement that you are a king coming in peace, and all Jerusalem lay palms before you and shouted Hosanna. Then you asked ‘What’s next?’ You cleared out the Court of the Temple, grieving that the place where ALL nations can come and worship had become a place of exploitation and appalling capital gain, signing your death sentence with the religious authorities, and you asked ‘What’s next?’
At Gethsemane, with your friends asleep, and one friend about to betray you, you sweat drops of blood as your Daddy told you you must go to your death, and you asked ‘What’s next’.
And at every step, Daddy said to you: “Son, I love you. I bless you. I honour you. I am proud of you anyway. You don’t have to do this. But I am asking you to do this.”
Daddy, you are also saying to me, ‘Son, I love you. I am proud of you anyway. You don’t have to do this. But I am asking you to do this.”
As Savonarola said, ‘My Lord was pleased to die for my sins; why should I not be glad to give up my poor life out of love for Him.” Jesus you did it; your birth, your walk and your death are my everything.
You are my waking and my hoping. You are my singing and my breathing. You are my dreaming, my thinking, my planning and my guessing. You are my movements and my resting. You are everyone I know, and you are closest to those I am closest to. You are my wife and my son, my father and mother and sister and brother. You are my neighbour and every stranger.
To have the mind of Christ is to know the best older brother you can ever have. I surrender all, Daddy, in my older brother and friend. I tremble to say it, but I know who has been there before me… What’s next?