Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grab The Life Preserver

It’s starting to get "nice and hot" here in East Texas and the only thing to do is head to the lake.  We did so last weekend and had the time of our life.  In a move that would have sent more prudent parents into cardiac arrest we actually put Maggie on the tube as her Grandfather (Papa) pulled us behind the boat on Lake Palestine.

Our precocious two-and-a-half year old shouted over and over, "this is awesome! I love it Daddy!"  The muscles in my face were throbbing; I couldn't have had a bigger smile.  That is until we hit an unexpected bump as I was trying to reposition and both of us flew off the tube and into the middle of the lake.

Megan told me later that she couldn't believe the way Maggie skipped across the water.  I came up and began swimming as hard as I ever have to get to my little girl.  I could see her struggling to catch her breath and grasp what had just happened.  She was absolutely terrified.
Forcing a smile to let her know everything was OK I repeatedly kissed her as I thanked God for life jackets and questioned the original wisdom of putting her out on the tube!

Yesterday I was reflecting on the past days events and it occurred to me I would never have swam in any direction but towards my struggling child in the midst of her suffering.  I could never have turned away from her.  Yet that is exactly what our heavenly Father did in turning away from Jesus as His Son gasped for air and gave up His life in complete obedience to His Father’s will.

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
 – Matthew 27:45

The Father had left Christ alone to suffer that we might never be without Him in the midst of our suffering.  In isolation like no one has ever known Jesus, who was one with God, must have experienced a total existential fracture on Golgotha.

No longer was He full of the total peace He'd so perfectly displayed throughout the duration of His ministry; it’s possible that Jesus was without even the peace that His obedience would eventually produce God's desired end.  No longer does Jesus call on the intimacy of His “Father” as He does throughout the Gospel but instead refers to Him as “My God”….

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, cring,  "Eli,Eli lema sabacthani?",  that is,  "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
 - Matthew 27:46

In Jewish tradition when a sin-atonement was laid upon the alter, the sacrifice actually became the sin itself.   The sin was transferred from the people and  to the sin offering.  Indeed this is what took place upon the cross of Calvary.  

 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2nd Cor. 5:21

As Adam was banished from the Garden of Eden because of his sin, Jesus (The New Adam, the first born among many brethren (Rom 8:29), was rejected by God as he hung upon the cross for our sin.  This was the ultimate sacrifice: to be rejected by a piece of Himself, to become fragmented for our sake that we might be made whole in Him.

But just before giving up his human life, Jesus uttered the three grandest, most impactful words anyone will ever hear saying, “it is finished”.   This declaration brings light to the darkest corner of the world, hope to the hopeless and imputes righteousness to every sinner.

Though watching Maggie struggle in the water last weekend (for all of seven seconds!) was truly awful, it was, in reality, minor in comparison to watching her struggle with her sin nature as we will surely continue to see her do for years to come. 

So as she grows we pray that she and her sister will indeed grasp the knowledge of Christ’s work on their behalf and be transformed by His Spirit.   For He is our only true life preserver and, having conquered death, He is life itself.


This Week and Next:

* Tyler Men's Gathering - 7am Wednesday AM -
Kings Cross Chapter 6 @ 2 American Center, 5th Floor (Ritcheson Law Firm)

* Saturday May 28th - The Magills w/ The In-Laws and Outlaws @ 
Chandler Cityfest 4pm-7pm

* Tyler Men's Gathering - off for Memorial Day!

* The Magills head to Camp Pine Cove at Crier Creek in Colombia, TX


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