It is Holy Week. And to be honest, I'm just dealing with a lot of unholiness over here. In my own heart and mind. In a world full of all kinds of wickedness. In those rival brothers' hearts, who can turn a serving of rice into a competition. And just in the general confusion of life on earth.
As the Lenten season draws to a close, the old routines of reading and singing passages in preparation for this weekend are doing my soul good. The crucifixion and resurrection always strike me in a different way from the holy hush that I sense around Christmas. This is the season when my own sin seems so startlingly present. I am not listening to Mary, singing sweetly the welcome magnificat over the Savior's birth. It is not the wise men, traveling from afar to worship the King of Kings. There is an angry crowd, pressing in against the One sent to bring life and salvation. There is betrayal from the innermost circle. There is doubt and confusion and cowardice. We are not as holy as we would like to be.
The gospel - the good news that the work was done in FULL by Jesus on that cross, is all the fresher though in unholiness. I need this. I need saving.
A God who did not spare his own Son. What, in all this wicked, weary world, can separate us from a God like that?
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raise - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8, ESV