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Topic: Betrayal (02/16/04)
TITLE: The Hope
By Donna Anderson
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For I know who killed the Christ. And if I go, for certain my tears will give me away.
I was there.
I know intimately the one whose sin was so great and heart so wicked that He had to suffer and die in order for her to live. The stains of betrayal taint my memories...
It was I who denied him, mocked and tested him. I recognized Jesus but did not invite him near enough to know him. My flesh begged for mercies and miracles but my heart was hard and my eyes blinded to the truth. .
Hidding in the shifting shadows of the raucous crowds, I followed him on the street of sorrows to Golgotha. I watched in silence from what seemed a distant, hellish dream, and yet what I imagined were tears streaking my face was instead the warm, scarlet splatters of Jesus' blood. Frantic to cover my eyes, I fell as dead to the ground as I discovered, then released my own filthy fingers from clenching the spike that had been driven mercilessly through his blanched and bloodied, wrist.
I was there. Alone with Him. Alone in the midst of all of mankind. The dead and the living, the lost and the elect. There in a heap at the foot of the cross I was covered in the sacrificial blood of the Lamb of God.
My heart was rent, the sky swallowed in darkness, the spirit of the world quaked, but I heard the Lord gasp and felt his eyes heavy on me.
My Savior saw me from eternity past when there were no shadows. He knew me. Foreknew me. Knew my anxious, wicked heart and yet loved me still.
That I would hold that nail and that he would bleed was no surprise to him. For it was not the crown of thorns or the scourging or even the nails that made him bleed, but the love he had for me drew it out of him. His blood was not spilled, it willingly, selflessly flowed.
Before the foundation of the world the Father and the Son made a covenant. For his sacrifice, the Son was promised a bride, pure and worthy of his eternal love and the Father would be glorified in him.
Jesus came to me, alive again, to tenderly wipe the blood and tears from my eyes until at last I beheld the truth. He rose and reached for me and the Spirit of God gently lifted me near to his side.
My sin was great and the betrayal very real, but that was a lifetime ago and now my face is streaked with tears of gratitude and joy. In my hands I hold out hope for in my heart I have his promise of life and eternal love.
The battle is won in me - the victory is his! I will go. I will remember, weep and rejoice in the covenant of redemption. And I will 'be prepared, with gentleness and respect, to give an answer to everyone who asks me to give a reason for the hope that I have.' 1 Peter 3:15