Sometimes we’re given a picture of one part of our faith and it's painted in fresh, vivid strokes. Of course it's worth saying that our Christian faith can never be made more real than when we simply open our Bibles and hear His words, His voice.
A heart made new in Jesus will rightly ache when the prophetic words of Isaiah are heard.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.~Isaiah 53:5A mind renewed will neither seek nor find a more compelling description of the sacrificial lamb than what has already been described in His word, written and preserved for His people.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.~John 1:29Every detail of redemptive history and the Christian faith has been written and recorded in glorious, detailed perfection.
But within this paradigm of what is complete and closed, once in a while God brings us through an experience that allows His truth to be seen in new and vibrant color. Recently Justin and I lived through an experience such as this. Our boy, our middle child, our rambunctious, adorable 3-year-old son hit the corner of a bookshelf square in the face. His forehead split open and blood poured, coloring his face bright, wet red within moments. Not long after, I lay beside my boy on a hospital bed, holding his hand, talking to him about his favorite movies and treats and all the yummy chocolate I planned to purchase for him the next day while Justin stood beside us, watching, grimacing, as the skilled hands of a doctor stitched up our son’s face.
I lay on that hospital bed with my precious little guy, his face covered in by-now-dried blood, his chubby hand tightly gripping my own, and even as my heart stayed with the son in my arms, my eyes filled and emptied as I thought of Another. I wouldn’t do it. Not a chance that I would do that, what He did. I wouldn’t sacrifice my little Joshua for anyone, not even someone I loved deeply.
There may be complexities of my triune God that I don’t fully grasp, but this much I know: a compassionate and perfectly loving God the Father gave up His beloved and only Son to be despised, rejected, beaten, scorned, ridiculed, pierced, nailed, hung, killed, forsaken.
God did this for enemies. God did this for me. Such love.
In His grace, He sometimes takes us down paths where our experience, the good ones and painful ones alike, confirm His revelation in fresh ways. Something in life suddenly happens--like a beloved child’s face is gouged and gushing blood and in our state of fearful prayer we feel that familiar parental ache and desire to protect and do everything in our power to keep our little one safe and whole--and suddenly with clarified sight we behold just a little more clearly the beauty, goodness and sacrificial love of God the Father.
We return to scripture and read, and listen, and the color of Christ's blood is suddenly and accurately a more painful and scarlet and vivid red.