As a believer, I love the Easter season. As a not-so ‘politically correct’ Christian I’m not so much into chocolate bunnies and eggs. Let me rephrase that: may it not even be imagined that I might be trashing chocolate in any of its many mouth-watering amalgamations–it’s just that they have no significant meaning for me in relation to having my sins forgiven and my life restored. Although, a therapeutic dose of chocolate goes a long way in alleviating many an ill. Isn’t that a proverb somewhere?
I also don’t expect most people to ‘get it’ the way I do. It’s up close and personal for me. You can’t really appreciate an oasis till you’ve been wandering around in the desert dying of thirst for a while.
As someone who really does believe the resurrection message I don’t think there could be a bigger picture of people coming face to face with Jesus, for the first time, in a tangible telling way than that of the two men crucified beside him.
Like most of us, they mocked at first. So much for a ‘no show’ God who never bothers to make an appearance when I need him most. What has God ever done for me? There was no reason for pretenses here. And yet, one man’s heart softened and repented, while the other’s was filled with disdain and loathing.
The rest were nowhere near comprehending this. Some were just in the crowd watching with genuine curiosity; even compassion. Some were walking right on by, and some were forced a little nearer than they wanted to be–like the man who was made to carry the cross.
Perhaps, like the two thieves, the most critical place to get to is ‘face to face’ with the cross and our own undoing. No more excuses, no escape plans, not even the remotest possibility of earning any favor. Just the opportunity to accept it . . . or not.
two men out of borrowed time
walk the green line, fulminate
railing bane on spittle chime
gawking crowds who love to hate
two men feel the twisted ropes
that tear through flesh and raucous screams
two asphyxiating hopes
sucking marrow from their dreams
two men who never learned to live
now required of them to die
raging criminals must give
payment for their crime
two hurl insults spewing hate
at a callous stolid god
his failure to abet, berate
the acrimonious swift rod
two are raised to hang and thresh
as silent from the ground is lifted
the hideous, grisly, shocking flesh
crusted, bleeding, seeping, sifted
and one would see a lunatic
and one Divine descent
one a monstrous casualty
and one the offering rent
one would damn an impotent being
and ask what of his claim
and one with comprehending seeing
would hang his head in shame
one would see in blood’s reflection
the filth encrusted deep
and hear in anguish’s inflection
pardon for depravity
and one would leave this cold world railing
not see the crimson ransom, dear
nor comprehend salvation’s failing
as the Father’s coming near
but one would suckle mercy’s breast
born of faith’s unfailing womb
and carried to eternal rest
be spared for ages come, the tomb