I was the single parent of a first-grader when I decided to have an addition put on my house. I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I only knew I needed more space and an upstairs bathroom in this tiny Cape Cod.
I’ll never forget the Saturday morning my little daughter came into my room to tell me, “Mommy, there are some men at the door to work on our house. I think they’re speaking Italian.” I told her I’d be right there to let them in, to which she responded, “Oh, I already did.”
Thankfully, they were the plumbers my general contractor had sent, not some nefarious scam artists prowling the neighborhood. By the time I got into the kitchen they were unloading their tools and already (presumably) discussing their strategy for upgrading my ancient pipes to accommodate the new plumbing – in Polish, not Italian, by the way.
The remodeling project went on for months. And truthfully? I thought I would lose my mind. I hadn’t realized the disruption it would cause. I never expected to have to make so many decisions about things I knew nothing about. And frankly, I had no idea how much it was going to end up costing by the end.
Yep, I was pretty naive to take that project on.
In the end I was glad I had done it, but I’ll be honest with you: If I had known what I was getting myself into, I seriously doubt I would have attempted it.
As I was walking my dog in the neighborhood recently, I was reflecting on that experience and the whole if I had it to do over again part. Then a sobering thought came to me, “Jesus knew exactly what He was getting into and He did it anyway.”
The whole time Christ was on earth, He knew what was coming, and it wasn’t just dust, disruption, and a depleted bank account, but betrayal, humiliation, and ultimately, execution.
He was neither naive nor uninformed. He had a clear vision of how He would die, and actually could have chosen not to go through with it, but he didn’t bail. Instead, the Bible tells us He “set His face” (Luke 9:51) to go to Jerusalem, where He would face unbelievable cruelty. He was motivated by love and a depth of determination we can only imagine.
The agony of anticipation alone must have been staggering but He was committed to accomplishing the will of the Father to rescue humanity from the depravity of their sin.
A friend this week reminded me that so great was His love, Jesus made excuses for His tormentors even as He bled out on the cross:
“They think I’m a lawbreaker, a blasphemer. I’ve hidden my face from them. Forgive them. They don’t realize what they’re doing.“
He pleaded for mercy for His executioners!
And when He had willingly done what He came to earth to do – what, in His humanity, must have been terrifying – He declared, “It is finished.”
That is a powerful, personal love I can scarcely get my mind around.
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- I learned a new word - November 30, 2016
- The best question I’m asking myself these days - July 18, 2016
- A tragic story with a tender twist - May 17, 2016
- Gosh, people are a mess - May 12, 2016
- I’ll take the red carnation, thank you – revisiting an odd tradition - May 2, 2016
- The surprising thing about “weakness” - April 20, 2016
- The holiness of a four-way stop - April 13, 2016