There is no Extraction Here

by Christine Sine

darkness - deathBy Joy Lenton

Who of us would choose to die? To leave a life we’ve grown rather fond of, to be tugged away from loved ones? Yet in being Christ followers we are all called to die to self on a daily basis, to relinquish our way to God’s way, to surrender to what so often feels like a living death in order that we can live well to a deathless, eternal life.

Eternity beckons. We have a calling here that stretches beyond confines of time itself. A work which seeps into the lives of others while we inhabit flesh and when we’re reduced again to dust and ashes.

Lent lends itself to introspection. A focus on fasting and seeing those things we are also hungering for. It helps to shape and define the deeper thoughts inside. Death haunts our hearts because the spectre of the cross looms large before our inner eyes.

It’s no mean thing to willingly enter into death’s dark hallways. It’s an act of supreme love and grace when the very act of doing so is redemptive for the human race.

God-made-flesh carried that burden and awesome, individual privilege. Jesus came to earth to bring us living birth at the cost of embracing death for us. He carried the weight of the world, all its heartache, heartbreak, sin, guilt, shame and pain.

Jesus took all of humanity’s dross and nailed it firmly to the cross as thorns pierced His brow and nails nagged at frail flesh, and a spear rent His side. He yielded Himself with an act of supreme willing obedience that momentarily tore His tender heart away from His Father, who could not bear to look at His sin-bearing Son. The curtain was broken. A gap in time and eternity appeared.

I fail to fully take it in, finding fathomless depths to an unfathomable moment in our history. For who can truly understand what Jesus deliberately sacrificed to die for us?

Our reassurance is that it was an act conceived and carried out by Love Incarnate, the only way by which we can be reconciled to Holy God. There was no extraction here because Jesus willingly laid down His life to offer us the promise of salvation and hope of eternal life.

No one took it from Him, although the Roman soldiers probably thought they did. This was a beautiful, sinless life knowingly offered as sacrifice, as ransom payment for the sins of the world. This has the heavy ache of holy seen in our ordinary. This is where we fall to our knees…

 

No extraction here

cross - no extraction here Godspace 

There is no extraction here

Only rainbow refraction sending

splinters of Light everywhere

 

But only those beyond the veil

can view its dazzling beauty

seen skywards like entrails

 

Sharp pierce of thorns bleeding

serve only to allow escape

as mercy and love flow freely

Forgiveness floods like blood

running from head to toe

returning to heaven above

 

God Incarnate gasps and dies

Willingly gives up the ghost

to receive fresh Breath of life

©JoyLenton2016

 

Abba Father,

Thank you for allowing your one and only begotten Son to become death for us.

We linger long at the foot of the cross, marvelling anew at all Jesus willingly went through on our behalf.

We pause and pray and stay transfixed by such amazing grace.

We desire to give our all for the One who gave His all to set us free from sin and shame, who laid aside His holy majesty and awes us by the mention of His Name.

Help us to sense even a smidgeon of what it means.

Enable us to live well in the light of the glorious cross.

May we see its necessity in setting us free.

And live lives worthy of being your adopted, blood-bought sons and daughters.

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2 comments

Kathy Schwanke March 23, 2016 - 12:22 pm

This is beautiful Joy! Rich and wonderful!

It’s no mean thing to willingly enter into death’s dark hallways. It’s an act of supreme love and grace when the very act of doing so is redemptive for the human race.”

This spoke to me, reminding me that we “fill up on the sufferings of Christ.” . . . every act of our dying-to-self serves redemption to the human race. Each crucifixion moment, a moment of spirit life in the earth.

Happy Easter week to you friend!

Reply
jodyo70 March 24, 2016 - 12:12 pm

Joy, these last two lines were powerful,
“Willingly gives up the ghost

to receive fresh Breath of life.”

Reply

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