The same hand that set the stars in the sky was viciously nailed to wood. The carpenter known for working the wood, was now hung upon the wood to die. It seems inconceivable. The innocent One that did nothing but love, was killed and reviled like a hateful criminal. Yet, God did not cease loving. Indeed, He used this to show the enormous depths of His love.
Did Jesus seek vengeance? Yes, but not against us… against sin itself. Sin is what divides us from God. It divides us from love itself. And to repair the damage sin has done in our world and in our own lives, Jesus came to show that His love was more powerful than sin. Our God is more powerful than any sin and His love stretches infinitely beyond the worst sin we have ever committed.
Jesus put on full display His love for us. Indeed if we cannot see the personal nature of a crucifix, we can see the personal nature of Jesus in the Eucharist. There He is. Unable to lift Himself up, much like Jesus was unable to swat the flies from His face on the Cross. In the Eucharist, God humbles Himself to being food for us. The Immortal Creator becomes consumed by His mortal creatures.
Lent is a great season of preparation, but we need to remember what we are preparing ourselves for… Easter. It was not the death of Jesus on the Cross that we celebrate on Easter, but His Resurrection. Sin dies we He died, but there is no resurrection for sin. A glorious new beginning starts on Easter. Death and sin are destroyed and remain destroyed, so that we can experience God’s love… eternally.
Jesus, You prepared Yourself for Your public ministry with 40 days in the desert. Help us to use these 40 days to prepare our hearts for Easter. Rid our hearts of all that prevents us from accepting You into our hearts.