“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).
A voice reaches into my wilderness. “I am your Alpha and your Omega, your beginning and your end. Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.”
“You are too great! Your voice is the sound of many rushing waters. How can I draw near?”
“My child, what I ask is not too difficult. I am not beyond your reach.”
I know He hangs above me. “I’m not worthy. There is just too much sin.”
“I hear you, child, but I don’t see your sin. I see you. I know you,” he whispers softly.
I taste the salt of His tear upon my lip. A drop of blood grazes my cheek. “How can you know me? I don’t know myself.”
“I see you as I made you.” His voice resonates with longing. “I knew you completely even before you drew your first breath. Look up at me, child.”
My sin is greater that I had imagined—its weight oppressive. My selfishness is on the cross, and the reality drives me to my knees. “What have I done to you?”
“Look up. You must look at me.”
The sound of tearing flesh assails me. I had heard those nails pounded into His hands and feet, but I had not watched.
“Just look on me, child. I’m dying for you.”
Looking up means that I also must die. “I don’t know if I can bear your pain.”
“But I feel yours, child. I know yours.”
Why would He take my suffering and make it His own? I yearn to look up, but it means letting go and accepting His sacrifice for me. I can hardly fathom such love. Thunder rolls in the distance. His scream pierces my heart. Gripped by the terror of the moment, my eyes swing upward. I barely recognize His face, much less His eyes, swollen now and closed in obvious agony. “Lord,” I manage.
His eyes slowly open. Peering deeply into the crevices of my pain, my despair, and my sin, He rips them from my heart, and draws them into himself. “Into your hands, Father,” He whispers, “I commend my spirit,” Quietly, with last expelled breath, He is gone. I strain toward Him—His body now stilled in death. He has taken from me what I can no longer carry. He is gone—broken for me. My sin has taken Him.
At this moment with my heart breaking over such great love, I do not understand that He has entered hell for my sake. At this moment I do not understand what is promised. But in just three days I will know what His death on the cross has wrought in my life. In just three days I will know I have also died and been buried with Him. And just as He will be raised in three days by the power of His Father, I also will be raised to live a new life in Him.
I watch as His body is taken from the cross and carried toward His tomb. My heart may be broken now, but in just three days I will know joy. In just three days the stone will roll away, and new life will walk out of that tomb. In just three days I will know His promise of new life. He will rise, and so will I. I will no longer mourn. I will believe. In just three days.