Today many people try to make Jesus out to be this hippy type of person who spoke softly and walked around with a smile on his face and a daisy in his hands. You know they type, the “Jesus Loves You” type. Sure, yes I know that Jesus loves me and I know that Jesus was a kind person, and spoke with compassion. But I also know Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple, I also know he told Peter to get behind him because he was acting like satin and He told the young rich man to go away because he was unable to give up what he had to follow Jesus. So Jesus didn’t always have a smile on His face and he didn’t always carry a daisy in his hands. Sometimes Jesus was upset, sometimes he was happy and at other times, he was passionate.
We often fail to remember that Jesus was fully human, not just partly, not only on some days at certain times, but 100% human 100% of the time. His humanity is important, it is because of his humanity that Calvary has any meaning at all. If Jesus was not 100% human, than offering up his life would have no meaning at all, for how miraculous would it be for a God to offer up His life, but for a man, a human, this is something. Jesus had to be human to take on humanity’s sins; sure, God could have just taken away our sins with a wave of his hands, but what good is in that? The act would have been forced upon us; we would have had no choice in it. That is not love, that is not freedom that is dictatorship that is forced compliance. God is not about force, God is about Choice. Freewill is what God offers us; we are free to say yes or to say no. This is our great Fiat, our chance to say YES to the Lord, Yes to God and to the Holy Spirit. God wants us, but he does not want to force us, he wants us to walk into his open arms under our own freewill.
Gods greatest gift you and me is the gift of freewill, our ability to say yes, to offer up that great Amen, or to say no, to resist the love of our Lord. This gift is the gift of love, the gift of true freedom. It is a gift the challenges our ego daily. Our fallen nature condemns us to our ego, for it was the ego that committed the first sin, the sin of pride. Our first parents, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, their pride covered their eyes and they could not see that they already were with God, walking in the garden, they already had God with in them, but pride overshadowed this, covered it with vanity and covetousness , and the gift of freewill proved to be our downfall and not our salvation. The freedom to accept God or to reject God is the ultimate gift God gave us. Adam and Eve rejected that gift in the moment they ate the fruit of the Tree. It would not be until Jesus was sacrificed upon a Tree that Humanity would once again be united with God.
Jesus, being both Human and Devine, offers us His life, took upon himself our sins and gave us his Mother, yet that was not all He did. In his life Jesus showed us how to live, how to pray and how to act. Through His parables, teachings and His own actions He has provided for us a road map to His Kingdom. Yet one of the most powerful lessons He gave us came at the end of His earthly life, lifted upon that cross, the new Tree in the center of the garden, he spoke words of love and tenderness, His final words he offers to us as man.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”
Gospel of Luke 23:46
Into your hands, I run, into your hands I collapse, into your hands I surrender… It is the Father that we offer ourselves; it is the Father that we seek for our comforts. Jesus, upon the cross, spoke these words, upon the cross He offers them to us. For each and every utterance Jesus spoke upon that cross brought Him one step closer to death, so each and every word, every letter, had a deep and profound meaning. He did not just say words He thought would sound nice, or words He thought would comfort His mother. No the words upon that cross were meant as final instructions. This was Jesus Great Fiat, His final Amen. Yet they are ours as well, for Jesus spoke them not for Himself, nor for God, for God already knows what is on mans mind, how much more He knew his only son. No the words from the cross were spoken for us, for you and me.
Jesus is telling us, that we, to truly be free from sin, must commend our spirits into Gods loving and open hands. That we must, of our own Freewill, offer ourselves to God. This and this alone, offers us our salvation. The Letting go of the ego and the acceptance of the loving arms of God is the true path to salvation. Jesus was stretched out upon that cross, His arms wide open to accept us, but He could not force us, He could not grab us, for his hands have been confined with the nail of sin, He cannot walk to us, for His feet have been bound by the nail of pride and he could not force us, for His earthly body had been scourged by the whip of humanity. Jesus could only offer open arms to receive us, if we chose to come to Him, to His beaten and bloodied body, to His Divine Humanity hung upon that cross.
This Lent reflect upon the words of Jesus from the Tree of salvation, eat of its fruits and look upon its limbs and see the face of salvation, the face of Jesus, the face of God.
Into your Arms I run, Into your Arms I collapse, Into your Arms I offer up my spirit.
God Bless & Happy Lent
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