Daily Meditations for Holy Week:
Day 6—The Creation of Man
And when they had come to the place of Calvary, there they crucified Him....
On the sixth day of creation God made man. On the sixth day of our celebration of Passion Week we re-enter the cosmic spectacle planned in the heart of Love before time began. The power of the old rugged cross to intervene in human affairs gone wrong is immutable and all-pervasive. In the cross man and all of creation is made new. This day determines the rest of your life.
From the moment Peter confessed, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," Jesus spoke plainly of His going up to Jerusalem to be killed. He called His death the "hour in which the Son of man should be glorified." Of Jesus' life on earth, the last seventy-two hours were His most momentous, including those spent on death and in the grave. By "successive spasms of spiritual pain and effort...bending and almost broken under a storm,"1 Christ entered His passion while Jerusalem shone silver beneath the Paschal moon. The agony of Gethsemane is inexplicable until we see Him on the cross. Looking out through the thorns under the sun's cold glare, countenance marred beyond appearance of a man, He is the holy Warrior whose robes were dipped in His own blood. It was not martyrdom. It is atonement. It was not representative. It is substitutionary.
The multitude that hailed Him with Hosanna and palms, spat on His nakedness and gambled for His garments. "Father Forgive them," was His prayer for condemners and condemned alike as He cast Himself into the arms of Love's justice. Jesus died in faith. His cry of forsakenness is followed by the Kiddush prayed by pious Jews as a man lays down to sleep: "Into Your hands I commend my spirit." From the side of that last sleeping Adam, a bride, white as snow has been drawn. Sculpted of His very own substance, she is brought to Him through a veil made of tears and the sweat drops of His blood.
Jesus lived under the shadow of the cross on which He died. He spoke of it as the accomplishment of His mission. He told Nicodemus, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so must the Son of man be lifted up." From the moment Jesus appeared in ministry He is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."2 He is our Bridegroom of blood. We enter the power of the cross today with nothing more than our faith and humility of heart and mind. We cannot atone for sins, but we receive His atonement. Body, soul and spirit, we lay down in His death, allowing His blood to paint us pure. We come to the tree of life and eat our fill, for surely He has borne our sorrows and carried our grief. Judgment that was ours went to Him, and He broke the fowler's snare.
"Lord of the Universe, look upon Your only Begotten and seeing His travail have mercy on us! Be satisfied to accept the satisfaction through Him and in death conquer death for His sake. Jesus, we lift You up in our hearts as the shadow of Your cross passes by. In its wings we take flight as we take refuge in You. Paschal Lamb, our Passover, it's Your blood! It's Your blood! It's Your blood that speaks and calms our every storm. It's Your love! It's Your love! It's Your true love that captures us wholly and carries us home. Begotten in the Begotten, we are reborn!"
Our sixth meditation is from Psalm 22:
For the director of music.
To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.”
A psalm of David.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.
4 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 “He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you
even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.
19 But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver my life from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
they who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn— for he has done it.
From our family to yours, may the blessings of Easter surround you this season. HE IS RISEN!
Go deeper in the power of the cross this Easter season through The Power of the Cross: Epicenter of Glory. Click here to order your copy online.
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda, 4/14/2017