After a little hesitation, his mother abruptly dashed forward with a certain urgency of the moment together with the viciousness of a bear robbed of her cub! As she charged to the aid of her wounded son, who was already sinking under the weight of the cross he bore, flashes and memories of his early years in her care interposed the reality of his present and rather precarious condition; Mary reminisced the times she was there to catch Jesus just as he stumbled on the field of hay. She remembered those countless spells she had come running to the cry of her son just like any mother would. But something was very different on this occasion; the saviour would not be saved! As Mary stumbled into the cross, she barely touched his bruised and bleeding face with her wobbling fingers, both mother and son locked eyes, and Jesus out of pain stuttered: “Mother, see I make all things new!”
Mel Gibson’s dramatic representation of one of Mary’s last encounters with Jesus in the movie passion of the Christ vividly portrays probable pictures flashing through the mind of a mother who failed to save her dying son from the weight of the cross; the destiny he carries. From birth, Mary had watched her son grow knowing his very end – the cross, but she did not at any time fight it! She believed in his destiny until the end even though the reality of the pending darkness at the twilight of his crucifixion had put out all lights with the exception of the one shinning in her son’s eyes, the promise of a new life through his death! Only a course so noble would tame that protective instinct of a mother which has a stern reputation for parity to the instincts of a bear robbed of her cub!
The Curse, the Course, the Cross and Grace!
Only a love so unconditional, only a course so universal, only grace so unmerited will keep the Messiah on the cross, not the nails, not the host of soldiers and not the wounds the King of kings received! Why did he do it? Why did he go on the cross?
In Genesis 3, our world jostled out of orbit into a free fall when the Creator cursed the Creation; man forever lost the opportunity to stand before God and bring him pleasure! We were no longer good for the Creator; we fell short of His glory! But this wasn’t just man’s fall, our world, our earth; our universe also fell under the pull of the creator’s curse! This is the curse Christ on the tree came to revert as it is said “cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
But ironically today, men still look around scavenging seemly large rubbles of our fallen world; our broken self, seeking broken pieces of our fallen world that can be put together to mend the brokenness in our world! We look within; searching for that iota of goodness in us that can fill the hole we carry inside of us! We still seek our satisfaction in the broken rubbles of this world such as money, sex, wealth, power, a better version of ourselves. We are trapped in the illusion that obtaining more and more and more of what has failed to satisfy us will eventually bring us satisfaction, so we thirst for more money, more fame, and more successes! If we ever fail at obtaining more of these things today, we end up putting our hope in a futuristic and better version of ourselves – Self 2.1!
Clean slate through the Cross
Friends, no city is built on fallen rubbles; nothing in our fallen world can restore our world to its pre-fall state. There is no version of you that will successfully fill up the hole left by the brokenness state of our world! No matter how hard you try, you can never be good enough for God! If we can, then grace is all messed up! This is the reason only a clean slate, only a new beginning, only a true redemption can mend the broken state we are in. This is what Christ has purchased on the cross and given to us all through the Grace. Grace says: see I make all things new; that which was fallen is rebuilt and that which was broken is restored back to its new state. And that which was stained as the leper’s spot is made pure once again! That is why what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will do for or against Christ will not matter before God except if seen through Grace. The grace that tore the temple’s veil wide open for all and to all. The grace that shook and tore through the core of earth beneath to rip open wide the gates of hell to free all captives held above. That is all that matters, and that is all that heavens see when God on high looks on earth below. This is all that truly matters when God looks at me!
While Mary supposedly wrestle at the edge of the fine line between ‘interfering’ and ‘not interfering’ concerning Christ and the Cross, Peter the very right hand man of the Saviour, and the very rock on which his church will be built was busy denying him. On three different counts before: all he would lead as a shepherd, all he would witness to, and the very church he would lead, he denied three times knowing the head of church!
The cowardice of Peter the rock further highlights the importance of the work of Christ rather than undermine it! Without his work on the cross, the best of man cannot serve the purpose of God. The best of the rubbles from our broken world cannot rebuild our fallen world. The work of redemption completed at the cross given unto us through grace- a new slate that creation craves for, was imminent! Grace is our destiny. Grace is our hope. Grace is what makes us stand before God with no sense of inferiority. Grace is what wipes us clean as brand new slates ready for the masters print. Grace is what makes us good for God. Grace is God’s Riches towards us At Christ’s Expense!
Grace is free, but was never cheap!