Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Taking Charge of Jesus
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus.
(John 19: 16)
He has a thought and births a universe. He speaks a word and a world is formed. By his own hand he stretches out the heavens and marshals the starry hosts. He measures the waters of the earth in the palm of his hand. The prophet Isaiah declares a mighty God reigns in heaven. We like him there.
Yet when he takes on flesh, we esteem him not. Coming into his own whom he has gathered in his arms and gently led, he was rejected, he was unrecognized. Down here, we're in charge.
So hands pull his head and shoulders from his mother's body. Human hands wipe him down and place his weak bobble head on his mother's breast. From the beginning he is handled, swaddled, cleaned, changed, fed, wiped, carried, placed, rocked--he is handed over and handled over. At least for a while the hands are kindly.
He is handed over to the care of his mother. He is handed over to Joseph's apprenticeship. His hands work wood, the wood works over his hands. People place orders, he fills them. People bring broken things, he fixes them. People treat him as a tradesman. He is. Some are respectful, polite. Some are demanding, demeaning. He is handled like a servant. He is.
One day it all begins to change. He leaves home. He is handed over to be tempted. But he is in charge now (was there ever a time he wasn't?). He preaches; he walks; he calls; he heals; he corrects; he comforts; he confronts; he points, he prays, he weeps and he keeps walking toward a distant hill. It grows closer. Yet, He is handled like a performer more than a reformer, more like a re-claimer of past glory than a redeemer for new life. The demands are set: no more Rome! no more disease! more bread! more fish! And don't change our traditions! He hands them an answer: no.
They hand him to Pilate. Pilate's soldiers take charge of Him. Good luck with that.
And on the cross and from a tomb, He takes charge. He turns an execution into an executive order. Hands do not pull him from the tomb as they did from a womb. He stands and walks out. You simply can't take charge of a God like that, but he allows anyone to grasp Him by faith.
Can you handle that?