Why I Sing
For some reason, when I think only of Christ's death, I don't have a strong emotional reaction... maybe it's my hard heart, but when I read the accounts of the smaller side stories, I'm wrecked. What I mean is, the accounts of Lazarus' sister Mary anointing Jesus for burial, Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross, the small group of friends and family waiting beneath the cross, and finally the thief who repented on the cross next to Christ all leave me week in the knees. What gets me is how these seemingly small things are what encouraged Christ during his passion. Just like Christ's description of Mary's offering as "beautiful", I'm overwhelmed at the love of God for His son when I read these accounts. The man, Jesus Christ, knew what he was in for; the weight of humanity's sin and intense bodily suffering. God, his father, didn't leave Christ alone, but rather gave him human companions and friends almost every step of the way. These small side stories make Christ's passion real to me. I am human. I can't relate to bearing the weight of other's sin or being tortured to death, but I can relate to pain and being encouraged by friends and the beautiful gift that it is. God the Father, in His deep, deep love, gave Christ physical, relatable reasons to enduring his death.
This meditation on the love of the Father for His Son, and the relatable feelings of encouragement are what soften my heart. We really do have a loving God, and Christ knew this when he instituted communion. Christ, in his understanding of the Father, left us with a relatable, physical way to remember his death and be encouraged. Everyone knows the bread and wine of communion. In many ways, these are meant for us to be reminded of the death, suffering and sacrifice of Christ. But what gets me is the way in which Christ also left us with a way to understand and relate to him after his resurrection. We are all familiar with the words, "This is my blood... poured out for many". But his words that come right after are, "I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.” - wait, you mean to tell me that Christ won't drink wine until we are with him in Heaven? Perhaps I'm reading it wrong, feel free to correct me. The last thing that Christ tasted was sour vinegar. I don't know about you, but all I want after tasting bad wine is good wine.
Not only has God showed His love to us by encouraging Christ in his death by relatable human means, but Christ has also given us a way to relate to Him in his wait for creation's consummation. I can't wait to be there when Christ renews his drink of the vine. It'll be one big party. However, in the meantime, we drink to remember his death. My response is much like the disciples' in the account of Mark, "...when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." Upon reflection of the physical, relatable passion of Christ, I don't know what else I can do except also engage in the physical, relateble act of singing praise to my Redeemer - Glory Hallelujah.
04/10/2012 11:42 AM