Jesus, I've been watching you these last few weeks, as you journeyed to the cross. I have tried to walk close with you there, during that time, to be with you, to understand what you were thinking and feeling. Though I've known you all my life, though this part of your story is so familiar, I am freshly amazed.
I "knew," and yet I didn't know...that you loved those who accused you, those who beat you. Your heart never turned to hate and disgust at the injustice, arrogance, foolishness. I had never seen such love, surpassing all of your own pain and anxiety.
And the question that keeps coming to my mind is: How did you so love your Father's will, that you could continue on like that? You didn't panic. You didn't turn away. You didn't pity yourself. You were committed to finishing, to completing all, even the smallest details.
You knew all was complete, so close to death, but there was still one more thing to fulfill, so you said you were thirsty, and they gave you vinegar. No by-passing even the littlest thing for you.
How did you do it? How did that motivate you? How did what was good and right to do--the task for YOU to accomplish--get so into your heart and soul that you gladly did it, faithfully, fully, to the end?
You...for the joy set before you. Were you seeing me then? Were you seeing us? I think you were. I believe you were. You were looking forward to, and glad, that you could redeem and restore...people like me. You were pleased to buy my life, give new life. You were pleased to do it, counting it worth it, even though those you redeemed, even though I, would continually stumble and fall. Still, it was your pleasure to do so.
Still, I want to know, how could you see that when in so much pain? How did the greater truth, what was really important, get so rooted in your heart that you did not, that you could not, falter or fail?
I want to know, and I need to know because you ask me to live like you, to carry my cross, to complete what you have given me to do, and I have not yet figured out how to do it. I don't even know if "figuring out" has anything to do with it--I just don't do it.
Oh sometimes I'm on, sometimes I see with great clarity, and for a time it's good. But so quickly I get frustrated, tired of the length of the journey. Because I don't see the usefulness and result, because I'm not sure and don't see that what I'm doing now actually will contribute to some good end result, I falter, I question, I balk.
How did you do it?
How do I learn to live like that?
Jesus, once again, I so admire you. I look at you with wonder. I want the life you have. I still believe you can transform me to that life. I'm not sure how. Maybe this watching you, this realization, this wanting...is part of the process and means I am on the way.
Teach me to complete the work you have set before me.
I wonder, I ask you this, and yet suddenly I'm filled with gratitude. Because it is in your character to complete your tasks, I can know you will complete your work in me. I have hope.