“He’s a red isn’t he?”, our host said to my wife and I when speaking of a popular writer we were talking about. By that, she was comparing certain influential people as the red shirt washed among a load of whites, making every other garment pink.
There are light reds, as in a favorite uncle or teacher, medium reds like someone in the media, and there are deep reds, who, in their death, become legendary. William Barclay says it is one of the facts of history “…that, again and again, it was in death that the great ones found their glory. It was when they died, and how they died, which showed people what and who they really were.”
Edwin Stanton, Abe Lincoln’s war minister, always thought of Lincoln as crude and unfeeling who took no great strides to hide his hatred of those who opposed him. After Lincoln died, Stanton looked down on him with tears and said, “There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen.”
Joan of Arc was burned at the stake accused of being a witch, while one of the secretaries of the King of England left the scene saying, “We are all lost because we have burned a saint.”
Jesus was, and is, a deep red.
In truth He is THE RED. The when and how of His death revealed it. The ones that appreciated Him the most didn’t know how RED He really was until after He rose from the dead.
Jesus had to bleed RED blood or He would have not completed the plan of God to reconcile the dead world to Himself. Good Friday is about solemnizing the monumental selfless act of Jesus dying on the cross.
But there’s more than just that.
In His most vulnerable time, Jesus was abandoned by His closest friends. The pain of the cross was sharp, aggressive, and violent, but the real agony He endured was the full crushing weight of your sin and mine.
- The tearing of His exposed flesh
- The breaking of His weary heart
- Hell’s hottest and tallest wildfires nipping at His feet
Every once in a while a song comes out it seems as if the writer of it was influenced by the Holy Spirit. This is one of those.
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr’s, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Take some time today and thank Jesus for His willingness to endure the cross for our sake.