When we read through the Bible, we usually look for a lesson, for clues to help us better understand God’s word and Jesus’ sacrifice. Sometimes, it’s easy for us to grasp a new understanding, the meaning of a new passage. But other times, it can be difficult to see what the Lord meant. I often find that a way which God chooses to reveal Himself to me is through personal experience. These lessons last for a long time and have a major impact on my spiritual life. They are the best to be passed on to my children as a proof that God lives and is a miracle worker.
The other day, I was with a friend and my two boys in the subway. We had some urgent stuff to do, and we were in a bit of a hurry. By the time we got to the train, the lights had turned red, signaling the closing of the doors. We started running. My friend was the first to enter, and I was next, holding my younger son’s hand. My older son was lagging behind us. Apparently, he wasn`t close enough to get through the doors, and thus the doors were shutting in his face.
Looking over my shoulder, I caught a glimpse of what was about to happen. Seeing the desperate look on my son’s pale face, I felt my heart breaking. I felt that my son was being left alone in the unknown without protection. Without thinking too much, I put my arm in the cracking of the doors, stopping them from closing, and I started to pull them apart. The thought that I might be separated from my son in such a dramatic way made me capable of anything. I was ready to pull the alarm signal and pay the fine. Nothing was going to stand between my son and I!
For a few days my arm still hurt, and I got myself a nice bruise, but that didn’t matter anymore: I had my child with me, and he was safe and sound!
Looking back on our little incident, I was able to better understand my Saviour. I could understand more deeply the anguish He experienced as He watched His children’s pale and hopeless faces exit Eden’s doors. I was able to grasp His determination to do whatever it took in order to have His children home with Him. I found it easier to understand why His scars didn’t matter that much as long as He could save you and me; why His pain was the least of His worries as He caught a glimpse of our peace and deliverance from a life of sorrow.
We often read Isaiah 53 and are amazed of how much suffering the Son of God was ready to endure, even for just one soul who would believe. I thought about the way I felt. It was not easy for me to see my child being separated from me, left completely alone without protection in an empty, dark subway station. I felt compelled to do something to rescue him. I was ready to do whatever it took to be reunited with my son. How much stronger must He, God Jesus Christ, have felt that He had to do something to save us! And not just anything, but to stay in the cracking of the door between Heaven and Earth. To hang on a tree that could lift us from human despair to heavenly forgiveness. To be separated from the Father for a while and be reunited with man for eternity.
If I, an ordinary sinner, was ready for anything to save my son from that situation, how much more then, the Son of God was ready to sacrifice in order to save us! He was prepared to endure beating, being wronged in a court of justice, being despised and humiliated. He received the treatment you and I deserve and did not say a word! He had a kind word of forgiveness for those who were thirsting but was as silent as a lamb before those who were accusing Him. He didn’t answer their accusations, their spiteful commentaries.
What could He say? “This is for you!” Who would have listened? Who was ready to understand His sacrifice? No words were useful at that point! There was nothing to say. The only thing left for Him to do was to suffer in silence!
He had come to die. How could He stay in Heaven and watch His children being ripped apart by sin, living in a world of desolation and hopelessness, forever separated from Him? How could He go on knowing that that one sheep was lost in the thicket of suffering, alone and heartbroken?
When He was on Earth, Jesus said: “I came so that they (the sheep) may have life, and that they may have it abundantly!” (John 10:10). All that suffering was not in vain! He had a purpose: that you and I would have a life of peace, of spiritual fulfillment, of abundance. The life prepared for us was not just any life, but a perfect life in an imperfect world. Even though it may seem impossible to have a perfect life, through Him we may know spiritual fulfillment, unshakable peace, and deliverance from evil. Through Him we may enjoy the beautiful life He took time to teach us how to live while on Earth.
Whenever we feel lost, alone, or deserted we may remember that there is One who stood between the doors of sin, preventing them from closing. He took the blow so that we might be safe. He took the blame so that we might be forgiven. He gave His life so we’d have eternity. He left His Father to be with us so that one day we might be with Him. He descended into the pits of sin to lift us up to eternal joy. He chose to taste death so that we might taste immortality.
It is precisely by knowing and accepting this sacrifice that we may receive the gift of that perfect life He promises. Only by letting Him conquer our hearts through His blood can we live abundantly and fully in His love.