Spare the Details

My son and I were talking about the meat grinder that he just purchased.  He was excited to have found it on Craigslist for such a cheap price and along with the sausage stuffer he was given, he was going to be able to make venison sausage.  He had procured pork fat from the butcher to fill the sausage. Apparently pork fat is way tastier than beef fat.  I told him that his mother would be happy because she likes some kinds of sausages and is a fan of kielbasi.  Listening from the other room, my wife made it clear that she did not want any.  When I asked her why, she replied that she does not like fat.  I quickly realized that after all of these years of eating sausage that my wife was one of those people who ate sausage but did not want to know how sausage was made.  Ignorance is bliss, for most people, when it comes to eating sausages or hot dogs we just refuse to think about how they are made and what is truly in them.

This coming Friday our church will be holding a Good Friday Service at 7:00 pm (shameless plug). Trilogy Farms (another shameless plug) will be bringing one of it’s new born lambs for us to ooh and aah over it’s cuteness.  One of my jobs that night will be to point out how, if we were in Old Testament times and if the lamb was just a little older, that we would be preparing to take this little guy to the priest to have it’s throat cut.  That lamb would die so that our sins could be forgiven.  Think of the visceral experience that would be.  Looking over every lamb that you had.  Seeing the one lamb that stood out among the herd.  Perfect, no blemishes, standing tall.  You pick it up, look into it’s trusting eyes, and hear it’s bleating.  As you carry it to the priest you feel it’s warmth and you begin to think about how this lamb is not going to die to provide you food, somehow we view that as noble, but it is going to die because of how you have messed up.  How you have sinned.  It is going to shed it’s blood to pay a debt that you owe.  That perfect little body will soon be ripped apart because of you.

If we were to have had the privilege of being alive when Jesus was alive we would have recognized how he was different.  He was so good, so truthful, so kind, and yet so powerful that he would have stood out among the crowd.  No matter how hard we would have looked, we would not have been truly able to find fault in him (Pharisees looked really hard and had to twist his words and lie).  If God blessed us, and we were truly able to see him, we would have been overwhelmed by his purity and innocence.  To watch him bloodied, spat upon, beaten, and speared to the point that he was almost unrecognizable would have been difficult.  To know that this was done because of our sin, would have been unbearable to watch.  He was hanging there because our sin was that serious, our sin required that great a payment.  

It is painful to think about.  To put the two pictures side by side.  To look on the gentle and pure Jesus and to then look upon the bloody and beaten Jesus.  To realize that it was for us that he endured the cross.  That this purity and beauty could be so marred by what we have done is almost beyond what we could imagine.  How horrible is our sin that it cost that much?  How much love is given to us to endure that much pain for something you did not do?  Sometimes it is easier if we just don’t know.  Sometimes it is easier to separate the two pictures of Jesus.
This Friday I will look upon the lamb that is brought into our auditorium and will rejoice in it’s beauty and innocence.  I will rejoice in the truth that nothing needs to suffer in my place anymore because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  May I never forget just how horrible my sin was and is.  It caused pain, it causes pain, and it is forgiven.  Pure, innocent Jesus suffered, bled, and died for the penalty that I owed.

“Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”  I Pet1:18,19

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