I found myself in the dark of night this week. That black space where the silence covers you like a heavy blanket. I was there, on the floor in the bathroom, sobs born of my own weakness, my failure, shaking my bones. The only sound–my heart splintering in my chest. Why did say that? That’s not me. I didn’t mean to. Didn’t want to. It didn’t matter. It’s the worst thing I could have done to him.
And He was there. Whispering comfort. Promising the future. Forgiving. Always there.
For days I’ve thought of this approaching Easter, this celebration of His resurrection, my head twisting all around it. Do I get it? Really “get” it?
I’m not sure I did.
I don’t even like to say that. It feels wrong. But it’s truth, stark honesty of my humanity.
Many have died for His name, tortured and disfigured, refusing to deny Him. Many even crucified. Peter, His Peter, crucified upside down, feeling unworthy of dying His death.
And we dress up, go to church, and hear about this Son of God crucified for us. Risen from the dead. And it fits neatly into a little package in our minds. Yes, we’re grateful. Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it absolutely changes lives. But do we really get it?
What made Him different? Able to save? Was it His divinity? His humanity?
What made Him choose me? In those splintering moments of anguish that I cannot make sense of, what was different?
Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. And it was neither His humanity nor His divinity that made Him different. It was both. He grew from a baby, learning about life and about God just as we do, in a time of strife and conflict–statistics of that time show high death rates, crushing poverty, and persecution. All those things that developed His compassion, His awareness of suffering and pain.
It is learning to suffer, to feel, that makes us able to fully love. We are not as humans able to dissect our hearts. We cannot choose to only feel love. If we are to feel love we must be willing to suffer. We must learn to suffer. We must live–hearts wide-open.
I’m struck by this. Undone by the thought that it was the careful development of Christ’s humanity that made him the only atoning sacrifice. That His humanity could not have carried the weight if not carefully woven with His unused divinity. He could have at any moment chosen, “That’s it, I’m not doing this, its not worth it.”
And it would have been true. I am not worth it.
He chose me. There in those moments, when the fullness of His humanity tested the fullness of His divinity. He chose me. He embraced the crushing anguish. The brutality. The very worst darkness ever known, death and separation from His Father. He surrendered to it. Not in weakness, by choice He went there.
He was ravaged and broken by my brokenness. Held it in His hands and said, “I choose you”. A warrior in battle surging onto the front lines. Giving every last ounce of Himself for me. For you. And then He lay silent. Dead. It was over.
They had taken it all. His very breath. I had taken it all. With my wounds and weakness, the dark corners of my heart, I had taken everything He had. His humanity, His divinity, spilled onto the rock for me. He died my death–my broken, sinful, separating, human death–by choice. Because He loves me.
Then the sun rose and there in His divinity He walked out of my tomb. Broke the shackles off of my forever darkness, just walked out into the light. And that is what is different. It was not His humanity nor His divinity, that made Him my atonement. My rescuer. It was His love. His choice. I am always His choice.
His reckless love takes on the very greatest anguish to never be apart from me. To never have to let me go. In spite of my flaws, my weakness, the crippling weight of my guilt, He made the world His stage to show His love.
He loves me. Really loves me. By choice.
And there it is – Choice. The defining word.
Love is never love without choice. It is the choosing, the action, that makes it love. It is willingness to suffer that allows us to love. And there has never been anyone more willing to suffer.
Nothing can ever separate me from Him. Nothing. Because the question was my freedom, my heart. And in all my messiness He chose me. Wrapped His broken body around my shattered heart and chose me.
The difference is Love. Wild, reckless, unchanging love. The difference is Him.
I really get it. He is completely mine. So very completely that my death has already been endured. Already been conquered. Just because He loves me.
I, in awe and surrender, can simply dare to be Loved.