A Man Died

I spent a few hours this evening not watching murder mystery reruns.  An afternoon’s worth of lawn work, followed by a strenuous bicycle ride, made it seem advisable (perhaps, even imperative) to sit without moving a sore muscle for several hours.

It was difficult to concentrate on the television programs.  I’ve not been able to concentrate on much for the last couple of days.  My mind keeps saying the words, over and over again.

I did this.

It hit me on Thursday evening.  With others in my church, we commemorated the night Jesus was betrayed by Judas.

Oh, I wanted to blame him!  But, Judas didn’t put Jesus on that cross.

I was glad for the dim lighting in the church that hid the tears rolling down my face as the scripture was read.

I did this.

One of my poet friends reminded me with beautiful words on Friday that those who mourn shall be comforted.  Jesus Himself promised it.  He did.

But, I did this.

So, I sat for the last few hours this evening and hoped the blaring noise of the television would drown out the voice in my head.

For awhile, it did.  Then, a phrase from an actor in the show cut through my consciousness.

“A man died.  Can we focus on that?”

But, that’s just it.  I haven’t really been able to concentrate on anything else for days.

A Man died.  Not just a Man—God, who came as a Man to do just that.  To die.

As I write, the clocks in the house strike the hour.  It is midnight.  Easter.  By the time you read this, Easter will be reality.

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Still, I sit and wait for this guilt to be lifted. 

Over the last couple of days, I’ve noticed a trend—one I’ve never taken note of before.  A number of folks have offered opinions on what went on for those interminable days between the death of this Man/God and His astounding return to life.

Some have actually argued about it.  Really.  

I’ve seen articles about what Jesus did during that time, what Mary His mother did and felt, where Joseph was, even what Mary Magdalene did.  I don’t know the answer.

I certainly don’t want to argue about it.  Somehow though, I have to wonder if they didn’t think some of the same thoughts I have over the last few days.

I did this.

Peter, with his denial. The other disciples with their cowardice.  Even Judas, with his certainty.  All of them wailing into the dark.

I did this.

My Savior hung on that cross, dying because of my sin.  The weight of that thought is crushing.

But, it is resurrection day.  The Man who died did not stay dead.  

He will turn our mourning into dancing, our guilt into righteousness.  We who were condemned will be pardoned. 

What a day!

A Man died.  

Can we focus?  

That we could live, a Man died.

And, He lives.

Joy comes in the morning! 

 

 

You have turned my mourning into dancing for me;
You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
(Psalm 30:11-12 ~ AMP)

O love divine, O matchless grace-
That God should die for men!
With joyful grief I lift my praise,
Abhorring all my sin,
Adoring only Him.
(from My Jesus, Fair ~ Chris Anderson)

 

 

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *