Love forgives the dagger concealed behind smiles

by Craig on March 29, 2012

Jesus looks down from the cross...and forgives

This is taken from a long out of print book of drawings entitled "He Was One of Us" by Rien Poortvliet (it's a treasure of mine)

You look around, Lord, and see the people responsible for nailing you to the beam.

The faces of the Pharisees…
still mocking and deriding you…
still defiant to your authority.

Rampant pride…
glaring…piercing…ostentatious…

contradicting and opposing…

Absolute Humility…
silent…sober…unpretentious.

I would have been thinking many things, but likely not forgiveness.

The dagger concealed behind smiles is a most deadly weapon.

Ask Ceasar.

Ask Jesus.

How many of these men hung in shadows…
never openly defying you…
never publicly denying you the title “Rabbi”…
never blatantly ridiculing you…

everything done in shadows…
everything by subterfuge.

Jesus looks down from the cross...and forgivessource

It is the way of the Evil One…
horrid, dishonorable, unfair…

…cruel

…catty.

But not knowing the way of love, did they know of no other way?

Were they just thinking they were protecting….
protecting their faith…from one they viewed as a false Messiah…
protecting their flock from someone they saw as an opportunistic wolf…
misunderstanding your unique position and nature…as opposition and threat.

Forgiveness is most precious when it’s conferred when not deserved.

To love the unlovable is maybe the most boundless love of all.

You are God, but you were human…
You had to feel the tug…
the temptation to cast blame…
or at least look away from them.

But instead you sought out their faces…

Jesus looks down from the cross...and forgives

 

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)


Jesus looks down from the cross...and forgives

Maybe they knew they were getting rid of an obstacle…
but they didn’t know they were crucifying God…
didn’t know they were fulfilling Scripture.

He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our pain that he bore,
our sufferings he endured.
We thought of him as stricken,
struck down by God and afflicted,

But he was pierced for our sins,
crushed for our iniquity.
He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
by his wounds we were healed.

We had all gone astray like sheep,
all following our own way;
But the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all. (Isaiah 53: 3-6)

Maybe some were as lost as Satan himself…
thinking this was the end of their enemy…

Who would have thought any more of his destiny? (Isaiah 53:8)

but for the rest of them…and us…

Jesus looks down from the cross...and forgives

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora March 29, 2012 at 9:59 am

Craig, I can’t even imagine Isaiah’s thoughts and feelings as he penned these words in Isa. 53. They are so full, so sad, so angry, so loving, so forgiving!!!!! If any passage of Scripture has moved me in my life, it is this one, for sure. Just reading it here in your post today changes my day, my attitude, and moves me closer to the cross and gives me ears to hear those words, “Father, forgive Cora. . .” You could paste my face in that crowd. Thank you for this today, Craig!

Reply

Craig March 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm

sometimes Cora I wonder just how much the prophets knew of their long-range prophecy. The thought of a “suffering servant” wasn’t really a main part of Hebrew theology. There was the idea of a “scapegoat” springing from Leviticus – but that’s it. But somehow Isaiah penned a truly accurate portrayal of a moment that would happen 700 years later – and really ONLY truly fits the crucifixion. I’m really glad your read me Cora, and I’m really glad you find something here worthwhile. And Cora, all of our fases are in the crowd. God bless you!

Reply

Rebecca March 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Seems like we haven’t come very far since those words were written. I was talking with my children about this today…that when Jesus spoke those words….they probably did not pertain to the people alive then…but to all people who would ever live. Thank you for this post…it really is a good one…and so true for even today!

Reply

Craig March 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Rebecca, I heart that you speak theology with your babies. Prophets of the Old Testament had this thing – where they had both short-range – and long-range prophecies. Sometimes a prophecy would have both a short-range and long-range fulfillment. “The virgin being found with child” is one of them. So, maybe Jesus’ words WERE spoken both for those around the cross – and for all of us, as you tell your babies. Thank you for your insight Rebecca – it adds flavor to nine. Your babies have such a good teacher. God bless and keep you.

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