Keeping Up Appearances

He had a nice car…

Clean and spotless in the driveway. His yard overgrown, weeds obscuring the old forgotten toys, which were once just as shiny new.

He had nice clothes…

Name brand shoes and latest trends, all hung in a closet, doorless and alit by a flickering light.

He had a nice wife…

Curvy, beautiful—Fake. With eyes that reflected only cellphone screens and secret lovers. Ears deaf to the cry of her children as they moved from one new distraction to another, looking for something to fill the void.

He had nice kids…

They clung to his name brand clothes as he walked out the door, placed their handprints on the fresh gleam of his car as he sped off. Another night, another fight.

He had a nice home.

With trash piled high, broken glass. Repairs neglected, and the smell of drugs in the air. But, it had a big yard, fenced in, a “do not enter” sign nailed to the gate. Pit Bulls growling at all who passed.

He had a nice life…

Parties, laughter, drugs…all rushing to fill the void his own childhood had denied him. Washing ashore only to find that he isn’t satisfied. Jumping back into the consuming sea again and again until he inevitably drowns…

His kids taken.

His wife already leeching off of another while his home is bulldozed to the ground.

The neighbors shaking their heads at the state of his life. Their words vague and empty of compassion or knowledge of this man or his family.

Admitting simply as they parted…

He had a nice car.

Forsaken

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying…”my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!”’

Why would the Father forsake His son?

This verse is listed twice in both Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 which only adds to its significance.

On the surface, we find that it is a reference to David’s Psalm 22. Here he is lamenting over his enemies mocking him and even dividing/casting lots for his clothing (sound familiar?).

The Jews who were there as Jesus cried out would have caught the reference and its meaning; our human dependency or desperation for God and the acknowledgment of that dependency. This inner longing for our Abba (father) to rescue us.

Of course there is a lot more that can be said about this scripture. But one thing stood out above the rest for me. And that is that Jesus knows what it means to be fully man.

He took on the full weight of our sin in that moment, and in doing so this cut him off from God (His source). In that moment, I believe the Holy Spirit within him grew quiet and Jesus felt what sin had severed; our relationship with God.

How far we have come from the Garden. That we no longer remembered what it was our soul craves. Walking with our Father in the cool of the day…complete and blameless before Him.

Jesus felt that separation for our sake. That he could destroy sin’s death grip on us, abridging the gap between mankind and God, and so that he could speak on our behalf. He became our intercessor, the one who knows what it’s like to be human, and to face our weaknesses.

He was killed as a criminal, the scapegoat for our sin, even though he had never sinned…

He faced hell (as in essence—the core attribute of hell is separation from God’s presence), and set the captives free.

Now, we may not be in the garden. But it exists within us. The Holy Spirit. The most misunderstood of the trinity, resides within us. And we don’t know exactly what that means or what to do with it. Jesus was our example of what a spirit-led life looks like.

“(Jesus speaking) Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” —John 16:7

I pray that this Easter, you would read the story or watch an accurate depiction of the story of Christ, His death, and resurrection. That you would rediscover what it means to carry His Spirit within us and to release it to move through us in the Earth.

For now, I leave you with this:

If you were the only one on Earth, Jesus would still have died for you. He was a conduit of the Father’s great love for us and there is nothing so great a sin that His love didn’t cover.

God bless you all.