“Look on the one whom they have pierced.” Look long. Look well. Look at Love. “Wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.”
It is hard to look. We would rather turn away, turn away from suffering and death, prejudice and inequality, poverty and violence, each swirling round our world, close to home, and in ourselves. Life can be so frightening, confusing, and revolting. We would rather turn away.God does not turn away. God comes and lives among us fully, saving from the inside out. Jesus comes as a poor, minority, refugee baby and is executed by an empire.God comes and saves through the cross, not logically but mystically.
“Look on the one whom they have pierced.”Look at Jesus whom John shows to be sovereign, in control. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, freely chooses to die. “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”[i]
Jesus speaks with authority to political power. “My kingdom is not from this world. … For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Jesus carries his own cross, hanging from it cares for his mother and beloved disciple, and announces, “It is finished.” Buried with a ton of spices befitting a king, a king killed on a cross, a shepherd slaughtered for the sheep by choice for us. Look at sovereign, unswerving love.
Why would you rather turn away? We each have our reasons. God knows and God cares and God invites. Admit your fear or grief or confusion, your guilt and shame. The cross bears us and the weight of the world. Nothing is too much. Here is our hope: everything is held and healed on this broken body which the Good Shepherd chose to lay down for us.
“Look on the one whom they have pierced.”
Look long. Look well. Look at Love.
[i] John 10:18
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