When God created the cosmos he poured himself out and made a temple paradise for himself and humanity.
If humanity had not rejected God in Eden, Jesus may have still come to Earth. It may have always been God’s intention to pour himself into a human face.
Our initial blunder was that we hungered more for our own faces and our own creative versions of "temple paradise". Still pools and sparkling mirrors can be hard to walk away from.
In spite of humanity's desire for created things, God has perpetually stooped down to reveal and commit himself to people like Abel, Noah, Abram, Hagar, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Elizabeth, James, John, Peter, Paul and Mary.
Jesus did not turn one single individual away. He welcomed everybody – even those who hated him. He called Judas, “Friend.
” He poured himself out to his own people and they rejected him. Where is the glory in utter rejection? Jesus Christ poured himself into the cosmos that he co-orchestrated in the beginning and didn’t even have a pillow to lay his head on. He came to humanity and gave us all the space in the world to be ourselves – so that we, in our own time, might freely respond, in love, to him. He came with nothing but love and vulnerability and left with nothing less than apprentices and scars.
Judas betrayed Jesus and killed himself. Peter denied Jesus and hated himself. But, no one could distract Jesus from bearing the full weight of humanity on his shoulders and traveling that infinite distance between heaven and hell. There on a cross, God died. He allowed his arms to be stretched out – into the past and the future. He was about to bring all of humanity and their broken history and their anxious future into himself. His agony crushed the heart of his Father in heaven. His loving sacrifice panicked the very depths of hell. In great sorrow, the Father allowed the Son to sacrifice himself through the Spirit. On that cross, the cosmos witnessed: “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
” (Eph. 3:18
Moltmann says that God’s wrath is “injured love....The opposite of love is not wrath, but indifference.
” At the cross of Jesus Christ, both the righteousness and wrath of God were openly revealed (Romans 1:17-18
). Humans have emotions because God does. Prophets dwell in the emotions of God. This cross crushes and bruises everyone who is willing to come near. There is not one biblical metaphor alone which can accommodate it:This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.
As friends of Christ Jesus, we are invited to participate in his injured love for the world. When His cross finally punctures the vacuum of our hearts we have access to his throne. We are surrounded by friends. Together, we come before our Father in heaven. He dwells in the midst of his people. He lingers among the glow of faces.
One cries, “Dad, you saved me!” Someone reads a poem about being at home. Another bobbles back and forth on her knees, learning "the unforced rhythms of grace
". A young man falls face down weeping and praising his Father for healing a gnarled hand – a wound he’s carried since childhood. And somebody starts singing....
There is always a new song wafting upward and outward amidst the rustling of angel wings. And the dancing, children on their tip toes twirling and spinning, saying, “Daddy, look at me…Daddy. See my dress? I’m dancing for you Daddy. I’m dancing.”
Any spiritual resistance that hinders me from getting to this place is only as strong as my faith is weak.