God desires intimacy with all His children. He sees us through the eyes of love – a love that is special because it comes from Him – from His very person and nowhere else. A love just for us. He knows our every thought, struggle, joy and tear. You know, He feels every struggle, joy and tear as if His own – because one day He owned them all.
He descended in one remote chapter of history to take the fall. He loved us that much. He was broken, beaten and rejected, even by His own people – pretty much abandoned and discarded. Few held onto the belief that the Jesus man was truly God. After all, he let them kill him. Seemed weak. Seemed to have lost. And with that loss, a dark curtain fell over the swath of ancient history and the future that had not yet taken place. No news could have been worse.
The Jews of the day, the Romans of the day, didn’t know how to make sense of this carpenter’s son. He seemed wise beyond his years and early in his life, challenged the status quo – arguing that the way to God – the way to know Him and love God – had gotten all twisted and messed up. Twisted in a labyrinth of religious rules and supposed “have tos” that everyone had to follow in order to know and serve God. We’ve all heard those stories and rules before. Man takes God and builds a list of kindergarten like rules and then insists we all memorize them and follow them. To be in. To be in the club.
But this Jesus came with a different twist of his own. He didn’t argue for rules and regulations as a way to God. He argued the way to God was through relationship, though belief, through letting go of our preconceptions – of finding a way to see the world through a new lens unlike any before. That makes Jesus a hard man to follow because it can’t be about me any more. My new lens can no longer be the mental beliefs I have collected over my years and hung on to as the ultimate meaning of life. I have to throw them aside and replace them with new ones. Or throw Jesus aside instead. To crucify him all over again.
This lens is everything. It’s like we all have a window through which we see the world – see ourselves and see the horizon and the future. For so many, the hurts of life have darkened and scratched the lens. It isn’t fun to look out sometimes. Even when the sun shines, it isn’t as bright as it used to be.
For others, the lens is clear but maybe we’ve lost sight of what we’re looking for. Our faith has been watered down by the storms of life and we only feel moments of faithfulness that come and go like the wind and rain.
The lens of life that takes us to Jesus, that shows us the cross that held the body of God Himself, is always our provision. He gives us the ability to look into life with clarity, where we begin to see love, begin to entertain possibilities, where we have a chance to capture joy and peace.
The love he wants us to see is a burning love. It is his love. A fiery beast of persistent care and belief in others that not only captivates us, but brings us to our emotional knees and gets us to stand up differently. To stand up reaching for more. To stand up hugging our lover, our partner of life that we have married because we are compelled by a force greater than our own abilities. The Jesus force. The one that says you can love, because I first loved you. The follow up love to a God who has reached so deeply into our lives, that we can’t live or love without being moved toward the beauty of the person he has given to us to cherish – our lover, our mate.
Easter is everything. The deck of hope was stacked against humanity, like a curse or encrypted code no one could break. Until Jesus. You see, he rose from the dead. Literally conquered death. Not just physical death but conquered the death of hope; the death of ever being able to love deeply; the death of purposelessness; the death of our personhood and our importance.
All for one purpose. To show his grace and love to each and every one of us. And to give us that love in such a way that we would feel the overwhelming message that we are special, wanted and unique – because he sees us that way.
Can you feel His want of you, his desire to be close to you? Do you believe he came to save the lost but really to change the heart? Your heart? Do you believe he wants to be so close to you that your own definition of intimacy surpasses anything you have imagined before? And that your life and your marriage can make room for that very love?
The world didn’t make room for Jesus and didn’t make room for his love. Ultimately his love and the intimacy he brought scared them so much they killed him. But by his grace, we get it all and can give it to each other. But we have to make room for him and for the abundant grace he so desperately wants us to know and have.
I often wonder what I really know of love. It seems so big, so important. I say to my wife, “I love you” and I really mean it. But I know this: when I borrow love from the foot of the cross, from a savior that gave me everything and died to do it, I give her so much more. She gets my heart and soul – amazing intimacy at its best – even if for a moment.
And for just an instant, even if just an instant – she gets to feel that her Jesus truly walked away from the tomb.