Devotional Scripture: John 19:17-27
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19:30
Sometimes life really hurts bad.
The words we read in today's scripture are not easy words to read. In fact, they hurt.
They are to vivid, to graphic, to painful . . . and much to real.
They are frightening words . . . we read them and shudder. The darkness of the words chills us.
Jesus knows that his death will follow his next few breaths. His response is a human one.
"I am thirsty."
Have you ever taken a drink from a glass expecting water . . . but instead it was vinegar?
Now with a lingering sour taste in his mouth (the proverbial last slap in the face), he says, "It is finished."
His death apparantly goes unnoticed by the crucifixion detail . . . they don't know he is dead until they come to break his legs to assure he dies before the Sabbath begins.
Break his legs?
To verify his death, one of the soldiers in the detail plunges a spear head into his side. His legs are not broken.
Again . . . such vivid, graphic, painful, real, and gruesome words.
Sometimes life really hurts bad. I find help in dealing with things when life hurts by remembering that God understands how bad things can get, and that He knows how I feel.
God has been there too. He gets it. He can relate.
So do the writers of the Bible. They don't skip over any of the vivid, or graphic, or painfull or real stuff about life. They don't hide it. They don't gloss over it. They get it. They can relate.
We all can relate in one form or another. We all know that life really hurts bad sometimes.
They write about it, and place it on full display in front of us. It's all right there for us to re-live over and over and over . . . painful word after painful word after painful word.
And re-live it we do . . . every year . . . every Good Friday.
I appreciate such honesty. I can identify with it. As I work toward an adult Christian response to this depth of honesty, I can again be reminded that God has been there too.
My life is real. Your life is real. God gets it. He can relate.
As we work to clear the final few things away that would cause us to stumble along our path to Easter, we may discover hurts and pains that we have buried deep in our efforts to hide them, to keep them from ever hurting us again.
Now is the time, with Holy Week and Easter so very close, to risk re-living those hurts as we cry out to a God who understands where we are coming from. Now IS NOT the time to re-hide them, to re-bury them, to re-supress them . . . but to finally push them completely out of our lives, once and for all.
Sometimes life hurts, especially as we clear and straighten our paths that lead to Easter. Have no fear though . . . and don't be surprised . . . if now you discover that God is helping you push these final obstacles off the path . . . here God speak to you "It is finished. These things will never hurt you again!"
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>