Come Down Off the Cross…

17 07 2008

I’ve got a lot in my heart and head right now that I don’t really know how to sort through. Most of it leaves me heavy and hurting, most of it I’ve been carrying for a long time, and I don’t want to feel the pain anymore. Jesus has been with me…is with me…in it, but if I am honest, I don’t want him to suffer with me anymore – I want him to end the suffering. I am no different than the disciples, who were admittedly disappointed when they discovered their Messiah, the one they’d hoped would save them from this evil and burdensome world, willingly experienced weakness. He didn’t seem to fix anything at all.  Sure, his humanity was comforting at first, when he could break bread with them or heal their wounds, but then all of those previews of his power seemed to amount to nothing. In the end, the evils of this world still seemed to triumph.

I am burdened with the weight of this world and all it seems to demand. In some ways, I feel a bit like one of the criminals who hung next to Jesus on his own cross and said, “If you really are the Messiah, prove it by saving yourself – and us too!” He knew he deserved death, but still wanted a God who would end his suffering, not suffer helplessly along with him. The other criminal chided his companion for being so obtuse; he recognized Christ’s power even in his relinquishment of it. And for that, Jesus assured the man he would be with him, no longer in the suffering and pain of the cross…but in paradise.

Something in me still fights to recognize Jesus as the powerful, saving King, when he’s only suffering alongside me. I’ve been hanging and hurting for what seems like too long now, and I really wish Jesus would stop suffering with me and just save me from the pain.  Of course, I don’t fully mean that. I can’t imagine going through the challenges I have without the fellowship and provision of my Savior.  It would be unbearable without him.  But at times, when I’m so tired from carrying this weight and just want to run free without fear of where to go or how to move, my soul cries out for the God who ransomed Israel from Egypt, the God who created the earth from a void, the God who restored to Job what was taken away.

God, where is the horizon? The restoration? The end of this suffering?