From darkness to light… The divine divorce and the glorious unfolding…

  
“Her name was Jessica.  She loved the rain, and sleeping in.  She told lilypad jokes and called me out when I pretended to be interested.  And her laugh…  God I loved her laugh.” ~ Reese from Person of Interest

Her name was ……  She attacked me on weekends and made puns because she knew I liked them.  She made salad like nobody else could.  She sang in muppet voices to make me laugh and did my laundry without a single complaint.  And her smile.  God I loved her smile.

I abandoned my wife.  I left her.  She gave me her heart and I trampled it.  I strangled it.  I held a pillow over it and watched it struggle until the life had left it.  I let it go.  And now it never wants to come back.

And I was wallowing in self pity the other day during my commute home thinking about how I’m not the only one who broke our vows.  How she left too.  How she let her bitterness overcome her and didn’t pray like she should have.  And I was thinking about how she turned her back on me.  And God slapped me back into humility and told me that I let her go first and she had every right to.  And then He reminded me of what He went through when He was on the cross.  The ultimate betrayal…  Phil Wickham sings about the divine romance, how about the divine betrayal?

Could you imagine?  Could you imagine living the perfect and pure life that Jesus lived.  Never said a bad thing, never did anything negative.  Never said a curse word, never looked at a woman lustfully, was never envious.  I mean, He was perfect.  That jerkface (lol).  It’s almost embarrassing that I follow such a person as Jesus.  I mean talk about walking in shame every single day because I will never compare.  A good friend recently told me however that we don’t need to compare because He lives in us.

He could have at any point killed his enemies with but a thought.  That kid in the schoolyard could have met Jesus’ army of angels at the tender age of 10.  The guards who spit in his face could have received a good ole fashioned American middle finger.  Don’t mess with Texas?  Hardly.  Don’t mess with the guy who has angels at his call.  Don’t mess with the guy who breathes solar systems.  With a word he could have sent them all to be crushed into oblivion in black holes that he actually spoke into existence.  I think about that scene in the second Thor movie when Loki kills the big weird looking guy with that implodey weapon.  Pontious Pilot could have been hit with an implodey thingy.  Jesus could have made all their heads explode or cast them into hell with the snap of two fingers.  Consumed them all in spontaneous combustion with but a look.  Or He could have done an X-Men Cyclops move and shot fire out of his eyes.  But he did none of that.  Not only did he not exercise His right to kill whomever He wanted, but He didn’t even say or think a single harsh thought.  Not a SINGLE ONE.

But how do we know that Jesus didn’t think anything harsh?  How do we know that He didn’t think lustfully or say a single mean thing?  How do we know?  He must have done something wrong or mean spirited.  SOMETHING?!!?!  Right?!?!  JESUS?!?!

We know He did nothing mean-spirited or resentful or harsh or lustful or envious or malevolent because…  God looked away…  and the veil was torn…  and He rose.

Matthew 27 discusses the loneliest moment in history.

I think about her all the time.  And every time I do I am filled with a sense of loneliness.  A deep, dark cloud that looms over my heart in such a way that even the light from the Holy Spirit who dwells in it seems to be hidden for awhile.  It feels like the kind of lonely that the poor man on the street feels in the dead of winter.  Too cold for cars to be out.  Too dark for even shadows.  Just bitter and dark.  So dark you can’t even see it.  Like Vantablack.  And a bitter, biting cold that creeps in like the angel of death during that first Passover.  Stuffing clothes with newspapers from the local recycle bin, fingers feeling the effects of a flash freeze.  No comfort in any noises, no people talking, no car horns or sirens blaring, just the gentle rustle of newspapers blown about by the wind; finding solace only in that familiar sound.  The walls of the cardboard box the only sanctuary I know now.  My little temple of loneliness that I erected by living the way I did for years and pushing them all away, especially her.

And as beggarly as i make myself sound when I’m really feeling the effects of the divorce, I am reminded that there was divine divorce orchestrated by you and me.  A chasm that transcended the spirit realm initiated by the sins of hundreds of generations; past, present, and future.  “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani.”  The Son, forsaken.

A cloudy day?  Not enough to make soldiers scared.  An eclipse?  Not possible during the Passover.  Hyperbole or storytelling?  The writers were not clever enough to make something like that up and they discussed the rending of the veil, there’s no need to also say the world went dark, fact checkers would murder their accounts.

No.  God looked away.  The Father forsook the Son because the Son carried the sins of the world.  How do we know Jesus was sinless?  If He sinned He wouldn’t be able to carry the world’s sin, and if He didn’t carry the world’s sin the Father never would have looked away.  But God did.  He did what a parent can’t do so that He could look upon me and you.  He looked away.  Imagine the devastation.  Imagine the loneliness.  In what was literally His darkest hour, the only One left, forsook Him.  He carried the sins of the world and God looked away.  He did it all for the Father’s glory as per His own admission.  And yet, the Father looked away.

You think you have it rough?  I think I have it rough?  If we think back to our darkest hours.  If we think back to the worst of life.  If we think back to the times when we had it so bad we wanted to die, we wanted Him to pull the plug.  The very reason He was able to pull the plug was because He was there.  And He was walking with us.  Or even carrying us.  And I think about my divorce and I repeat what Timmy said in Jurassic Park “(s)he left us, (s)he left us.”  But in those times, God cleverly steals Dr. Grant’s line and says “but that’s not what I’m going to do.”

Except He did.  The darkest moment in history and God turned His back.  Because He had to.  A holy God could not look upon His Son, and see the sin, and not look away.  I think my life can sometimes seem dark, but nothing compares to the darkness Jesus felt when His Father looked away.

And that’s what I’m slowly learning through clenched fists and bitterness.  I’m learning it through wrestling with my heart like Jacob did with the angel.  I’m learning that “baby there ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, to keep Me from getting to you.”  The Me being God of course and the you being you and me.  There is nothing that can separate from Him.  Our sin separates us from His holiness, but even when we are in sin, He is pursuing.  He is seeking.  He is searching.  He is loving.  And in the end, it’s not about who my wife is or is not, it’s not about who my pastor is or is not.  It’s not about where my mom is or is not.  It’s about Him and me and the fact that no matter what I do, He loves me and I am His, even if I am nobody else’s, I am His.  Even if I am no longer hers.

Lastly, Jesus had to be sinless because the veil was torn.  Hebrews 9:1-9 tells us that the veil separated the dwelling place of God (the Holy of Holies) with the dwelling place of man (the rest of the temple).  If Jesus hadn’t been the perfect and sinless sacrifice, that veil would never have been torn.  And in the end, no resurrection could have happened.  In order to conquer death He had to conquer sin, which is what leads to death.  By defeating sin and being the perfect sacrifice once and for all, He was therefore able to rise.  The darkest moment of history led to the most glorious and I’m hopeful that the darkest moments of my life and yours will also lead to the most glorious.

 

Vantablack – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/blackest-is-the-new-black-scientists-have-developed-a-material-so-dark-that-you-cant-see-it-9602504.html

“The Glorious Unfolding” by Steven Curtis Chapman

Lay your head down tonight

Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfoldAnd this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
We’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

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