Friday, April 2, 2010

Beautiful Scandalous Night

I wanted to have a wonderful post for tonight. ...but what do I say? I'll leave you with "my old standby" which would be more song lyrics, of course.

Beautiful Scandalous Night [from At the Foot of the Cross]
Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flows
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that pours
From our blessed Savior's side

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night
On that beautiful, scandalous night

by Kemper Crabb

father Adam
don't you see what you have done?
you have given all your children
to the fire & to the ruin
and we're needing
and we're bleeding
and it's a hard fate
that's befallen our race
cold wind from Eden
blows across my face
and I'm yearning
to be back in the garden
back in the garden

Second Adam
now I see what you have done
through your dieing
through your rising
you've restored the fallen sons
for your giving
we are living
and though
I know you bruised your heel
when you crushed the serpent's head
still you pulled the fangs out of our hearts
giving spirit life instead
for your giving
we are living
your returning me
back to the garden
back to the garden
back to the garden,

of late I'm realizing
that the garden I'm desiring

Someone said to me, the other day, "why do we celebrate the death of Jesus?"
Good Friday. A man who was [his words] "an Agnostic flirting with Atheism". Said to me "know what this is?" stretched his arms out... "ah, no." "a [crappy] way to spend a Friday."
Lots of people wear crosses. Tattoos, piercings, rings, necklaces. Jesus, on a hill long ago, took a symbol of torture... & made it a symbol of hope, a symbol of forgiveness. The cross is God's price tag on you. That's how bad God wants to spend time with you. Like Linda on her blog said she saw in a second hand shop: "as found". God wants us so bad, he died to get us. The only real sad thing left to this story now is this: the only way I can't have God... is if I say I don't want him. The cross is him telling me how much he wants me. To borrow from a commercial: yeah, you're that important.
Celebrate may be the wrong word for today. I reflect... I stand, set, lie down on the floor... & just think: "this is the craziest, illogical, outlandish, most beautiful plan I have ever heard of in my life."
I've written it in so many ways...
The one man, who didn't do anything wrong... died for all the men, women, & children -who will never get it right. [at least, not on their own anyway]
Jesus died on a cross... to save the people ...who nailed him there.

God sent Moses, to deliver his people from Pharaoh,
Joshua, to help his people take the promised land,
...when it came to sin... God didn't "farm this out to a third party",
he did it himself. He didn't send someone... he came.

I cannot imagine how dark & long this night must have been to those who were there. I cannot imagine how this day played out in heaven. The darkest, most aching day of history. Or the next 2 days, really. It's not what the world does to you, it's what you allow God to do next, that counts.
When I think of my own life. I think of this day for Jesus. Jesus has been through it all. Shame, nakedness, abuse, abandonment, mocked, wrongfully accused... alone. So when I say no one understands... Jesus says, "I do". This way Jesus can enter whatever hell you & I find ourselves in.

...I think I'll stop for now. Easter is coming....

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