And Still He loves

I’ve found myself reflecting on the humility of Christ this Lent. It seems that in every passage I’ve come across during the past few weeks, I find Him responding to the most trying and challenging situations with remarkable gentleness – a quietness of Spirit that, it seems, could come only from a place of genuine humility.

Take the “Road to Emmaus” account. After His resurrection, Jesus meets two of His disciples on their way to the town of Emmaus. Not recognizing Him, they ask, “Are you the only person around here who doesn’t know everything that’s been going on?!?”

He, of course, knows better than anyone each and every bitter detail of the horrors He has suffered. Yet His response? Well, he does not deliver, as I would have, the perfect mix of injured pride and biting sarcasm.  Instead, with a gentleness and forebearance that is truly astonishing – I like to imagine He may have even had a good-humored twinkle in His eye – He asks… What things?” Oh, the humility beneath that simple question!

Time and again, in places where I would have long ago lost patience and cut conversation short with something snarky or superior, He replies only with kindness. He willingly accepts painful misunderstanding, slander, betrayal, abuse, death.

But make no mistake: this is no timid weakness. This same Man, when mobbed by a detachment of soldiers at night, answers their hostile inquiries with another simple question: “Whom do you seek?” I would not have had such composure in the face of two hundred armed, torch-wielding soldiers.

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they reply.

“I – am – He.” 

And at this – merely by His words – these muscular, highly-trained, fearless men are leveled. To the ground.

If the New Testament accounts are accurate and reliable – as bible historians generally accept them to be – then this must have been a Man of incredible poise and power, “flexing” (as it were) in a momentary display of His glory, before submitting to arrest and execution. Yet during this week leading up to Easter’s joyful resurrection, Christians the world over will remember with poignant grief and deep thankfulness a somewhat different sort of power – the power of His glory veiled. Emptied of all but Love, for us. He was, Isaiah tells us, “like a lamb led to the slaughter…so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgement he was taken away…”

Time and again He responds neither with timidity nor arrogance, but only love unfathomable – love that is angered by that which threatens the object of its affection; love that moves toward the hurting and painful places of life; love that seeks to make all things new and whole and beautiful. It’s so clear how far I am from living out this kind of love. How easily I am offended by small misunderstandings, my feathers ruffled at slight and momentary injustices, my ego injured when a patient laughs at my poor (and in truth, quite laughable) Nepali. How quick I am indeed to defend my own name, my own glory.

What a contrast to this beautiful Love incarnate, this Love that dwells among us and died for us, that we might be His. Love that knows the pain of utter rejection yet counted even that a worthy cost. And still He loves.

“He paid the mighty sum and died
for sinner yet unborn;
From men, the works of His own hands,
He suffered shame and scorn…”

~ W. Williams ~

6 thoughts on “And Still He loves

  1. Hi Becca, Good to hear from you. Very encouraging word about our Lord’s passion. I’m reading through the account in a Harmony of the Gospel, as well as, The Suffering Saviour by Krummacker. In his 440 page book he really puts things in perspective (I highly recommend the book). Do you remember the story I told when I taught Perspectives about my experience on a Honduran Hill side… I was sucking my thumb and complaining while I carried some heavy building lumber up a hill. The sun came out from behind a cloud and I saw the shadow of myself. The Lord whisper Oh so forcibly: “I carried some wood up a hill for you one day, Ray! is this too much? My thumb came out real fast! When I watch Him traveling down the Via Dolorosa, any ouch or complaint I have is immediately dissolved

    Blessings on you,

    Ray and Noarmalee

  2. Becca, thank you for sharing such a thoughtful and moving “devotional.” I appreciated meditating on our Savior’s great love and humility. Your time in Napal will change your life and in turn how you live out the rest of your days. Love and prayers, Joy

  3. This is beautiful, becca! Mind if I share it?

    I hope you’re doing well! How do you plan to celebrate Easter? Are there any traditions there that are normally observed?

    Jenn

    • You bet, Jenn! Thanks =) For Good Friday (this evening), we observed the Stations of the Cross together, with singing and scripture reading in Nepali and English. A lot of people turned out, and it was very special. There will be other services this weekend. Hope you have a joyous Easter as well!!

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